Amanda and I went to Mita’s in downtown Cincinnati for my birthday just over a week ago and we got the bread tray as an appetizer. When it came to our table, there was an incredible herby olive oil which was delicious and then next to it was another dish with romesco sauce. We both spread some of that on the thick cut sourdough and it was out of this world delicious! I instantly knew I would be making this and then last weekend I did just that!
Now, unfortunately, the bread last weekend wasn’t great because of some winter fermenting issues, however, I still was able to enjoy the romesco paired with it! I toasted some of the bread up and spread on my new creation and while the bread was sub par, the whole experience was still delicious!! I also mixed some of the sauce in with tomato sauce and used it as a pizza sauce base, and that was incredible too. Long story short, this stuff is insanely good, and I’m going to make this quite often in the future. Okay, now for the recipe:
1 red bell pepper (roasted and membranes peeled and seeded)
3 roma tomatoes (roasted and seeded and peeled)
4 cloves of garlic (more if you want or if you have smaller cloves, these were pretty large)
2oz (56g) of toasted, cubed sourdough or baguette (I used garlic pepper parm sourdough)
1/2 cup toasted almonds
3 tsp (or more) chili flake or chili powder (tbh I didn’t measure but probably 3 tsp)
1 tbsp chopped parsley (again, didn’t measure but close)
2 tsp smoked paprika (make sure it’s smoked)
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the broiler and cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, and place under the broiler at the highest setting. Broil for four minutes, until charred on one side. Turn over and broil on the other side for two to four minutes until charred. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Peel and core.
2. Turn on a food processor (or high powered blender) fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic cloves. When the garlic is chopped and adheres to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Add the toasted almonds (or almonds and hazelnuts), bread and chili powder or flakes to the bowl and process to a paste.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pepper, tomatoes, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper. Process until smooth, and with the machine running, add the vinegar and olive oil in a slow stream, beginning with the smaller amount of olive oil and thinning out as desired. Process until well amalgamated, then scrape into a bowl.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt or chili as desired. If possible, allow the sauce to stand for an hour at room temperature before using. Store in fridge for short term or you can put in ice cube trays and freeze it for long term.