Romesco is a Spanish sauce that is prepared with some exotic ingredients including nuts. Being a sauce, Romesco has dipping consistency and usually attains a light orange color. The nutty flavor of the romesco sauce is the highlight of the dish that makes it quite popular with Mexican and Spanish snacks. It is quite easy to make and can be prepared in advance and stored up to a week. Variations and similar recipes also exist in the Catalan and Syrian cuisines such as Salvitxada and Muhammara.
History of Romesco Sauce
Romesco is said to have originated in Tarragon, Spain. It is considered a very commonly served sauce in Catalan cuisine. It is believed that Romesco was first prepared by the fisherman in Catalonia. They use to eat it with fish; hence it is popular that romesco sauce goes well with seafood. Later on, the sauce gained popularity throughout the Northeastern Spain and served to accompany vegetables as well as meat dishes.
Preparation of Romesco Sauce
Romesco is a very easy to prepare dish with the ingredients including hazelnuts, almonds, garlic, tomatoes, red peppers, sherry vinegar or hot pepper. In few variations, pine nuts and onion may also be included. Romesco typically prepared to accompany the fish dishes usually contains fennel or mint leaves. The flavor of the sauce complements the taste of the fish quite well. While preparing the sauce, it is quite essential to blanch the almonds. Peppers, garlic and tomatoes are added after roasting. Roasting may be done in oven or in pan. A slice of stale bread is often incorporated to enhance the texture of Romesco. The blanched almonds should be completely dried before processing. All the ingredients are processed in food blender after being stir-fried or roasted. Olive oil may be added either at the time of roasting or stir-frying. Similar with the vinegar, it should also be drizzled while processing the ingredients. The ingredients should be blended in the processor until it forms a thick and smooth puree. Seasoning can be adjusted once the puree is prepared.
Serving and Eating of Romesco Sauce
Romesco is traditionally served with fish and escargot. Other seafood dishes are also complemented with this sauce. Various meat and vegetables dishes may also be accompanied by Romesco. Even it can be spread simply on rustic bread served. Romesco can also be tossed with pasta and included in fish stews.
Variations of Romesco Sauce
• Salvitxada – This is also a Catalan sauce similar to romesco. This sauce is typically served with the local Tarragon barbeque. It is prepared by pulverization of the roasted ingredients and vinegar.
• Muhammara – It is an Arabic hot pepper dip, originated in Syria. This dip is quite popular in Levant cuisine. The main ingredients are quite similar to Romesco sauce and method of preparation is also relatively same. Muhammara is served as a spread and dip for several meat and vegetable snacks.
Health Facts Related to Romesco Sauce
Romesco is indeed a healthy sauce as it contains nutritional nuts, tomatoes and other ingredients. This sauce contains various vitamins and minerals present in its ingredients.