Summer is in full swing and we’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors, leaving less time for cooking. Seafood and vegetables, both simple to prepare and cook have proven to be the perfect combination for a satisfying summer meal. This weekend, I made Romesco sauce–a savory blend of roasted peppers, toasted almonds, garlic, and paprika. Originating in Catalonia, this pesto-like concoction is garlicky, nutty, and sweet with a whisper of smoke and spice. The robust flavors of Romesco pair PERFECTLY with grilled seafood, poultry, meat, and vegetables. We opted to slather the sauce on charred sweet shrimp, zucchini, and broiled green onions. We also dolloped heaping spoonfuls on crusty Italian bread. After our delicious meal, we readily agreed that Romesco is the perfect summer sauce.
The how to…
Romesco recipe slightly adapted from Serious Eats
2 cups of sauce
1 1-inch thick slice of crusty bread, crust removed
1 large ripe tomato, halved
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
1 large fire roasted red bell pepper from a jar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
For charred shrimp
20 medium size tail-on shrimp, peeled & deveined
zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
generous pinch salt
pinch black pepper
- Roast. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place bread, tomato halves, & 5 garlic cloves (do not remove skin) on baking sheet. Roast until the bread is crusty and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove bread and continue roasting until tomato is tender & garlic is soft, about 30 minutes more. Remove from oven, let cool.
- Toast almonds. Heat a cast iron skillet (do not add oil) over medium heat. Add almonds and stir occasionally until slivers are golden brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Puree. Tear bread into bite size pieces, remove skin from tomato, and peel roasted garlic. Place bread, tomato, garlic (roasted cloves + fresh clove w/skin removed), almonds, bell pepper, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, salt, and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt as needed. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Cook shrimp. In a bowl, toss shrimp with lemon zest, olive oil, cumin, salt, & pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches (do not crowd shrimp), cook shrimp until opaque and charred on both sides (about 2 mins per side). Serve immediately alongside Romesco sauce.
*Add more olive oil or less bread if you prefer a thinner sauce.
*Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.