This recipe comes from my friend, Chef Anne McAllister. She made a lovely dinner for us a few years ago that included this sauce. The dinner was memorable because it was the first real dinner with a nice tablecloth, and wine glasses, and casual conversation that we had after my father had been in a terrible car accident. A reckless driver struck my father while he was sitting quietly waiting for a red light to change. In the aftermath, our lifelong habits of home cooked meals and suppers as a family went out the window. We ate take-out sitting at the hospital, and threw together simple meals while we wrestled with insurance paperwork, police reports and doctor’s appointments. And then finally, my father was well enough to be a part of family meals again – not preparing them, but at least joining us at the table. Chef Anne came over and cooked for us. She made swordfish, and Israeli couscous, and we chatted, and ate, and moved a step or two towards normalcy. A well-cooked meal eaten with family and friends – its recuperative powers should never be underestimated.
Romesco Sauce (3 cups)
- 3 large plum tomatoes
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
- 1 slice wheat bread, toasted, cut into ½ -inch cubes (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Toss tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion in small baking dish with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast until partially charred, turning every 15 minutes, about 45 minutes. Cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes.
Peel and seed tomatoes and bell peppers; place in a blender. Chop the onion and add to blender.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds; sauté until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add garlic, sauté for just 30 seconds, stirring. Transfer to blender. Add ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, bread, and paprika to blender; blend to coarse puree. Transfer to a bowl; season with salt.
I think Anne’s Romesco sauce is particularly good over Swordfish, or other steaky white fishes. It’s even good over sole, but you want to use a bit less of it.