Salsa Romesco

October 11, 2018

Romesco and the Fisherman of Tarragona


Just as Cioppino was created by local San Francisco fishermen, so

too was Romesco Sauce developed by the Serrallo fisherman of

Tarragona in the early 20th century.  They used what they had on

hand, and each fisherman added something to create his own sauce.

Regardless of variations, several ingredients appear in nearly

every version – tomatoes and peppers, almonds and bread, and

olive oil, garlic, and vinegar.


Today, Romesco has travelled far from its coastal Spanish origins

to be enjoyed around the world as an accompaniment to seafood,

although it is often used with roasted vegetables, too.


The traditional Romesco calls for deepening flavors by roasting and

charring ingredients before puréeing, then thickening the sauce with

toasted bread and toasted almonds.

The garlic, vinegar, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes bring the

sauce into focus as a smoky and pungent spread which is  ideal for

mild seafood, potato, and vegetable dishes.


Here’s our version.  Please note that all measurements are very loose –

thick or thin, chunky or smooth, mild or piquant – feel free to adjust

these amounts to please yourself.



¾ lbs tomatoes, charred, peeled, and cored

(may substitute boxed or canned)

½ to 1 cup of whole almonds

1 slice of rustic bread or baguette

2 to 5 cloves of raw garlic

1 to 2 tsp red pepper flakes

12 oz jar roasted red peppers

1 Tbsp regular or, smoked paprika (pimenton),

if you can obtain it

1 tsp sea salt

black pepper to taste

1/3 to 2/3 cups Lucero Picual or Arbequina EVOO

2 Tbsp Lucero Rosato Balsamic Vinegar or

Spanish sherry vinegar




1-  Broil the tomatoes under high heat until charred, allow to cool, then

peel and core.


2-  Toast the almonds, toast the bread


3-  Purée the following ingredients into a paste using a food processor in

this order:


  • raw garlic,
  • toasted almonds,
  • bread,
  • and red pepper flakes


4-  Scrape down the bowl and add roasted red peppers, tomatoes as

prepared above, paprika, salt, and pepper, processing until as smooth

as you desire


5-  With the machine running, add half the olive oil and all the vinegar,

thinning the sauce. Add more olive oil as desired. Scrape into a separate

bowl and adjust seasoning as desired


Pro tip:  Make double batch and transfer extra sauce into a container.

Cover with more olive oil which forms an airtight seal before you affix

the lid and your efforts will keep up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.


From the Lucero Kitchen




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