Romesco 3 Ways

First of all, I have to send love out to Boston. Miguel and I traveled there for our friends’ wedding almost 4 years ago and developed such an affinity for that city that has lasted since, probably because our very close friend, the bride, grew up there. Attending a Red Sox Yankees game and singing “Sweet Caroline” is probably top 10 in life highlights. Miguel still brags he ate 17 different types of sea creatures there. I hate that these tragedies keep happening. And while I don’t know why, I know that they do remind us all of what is important in life and bring us all together, if just for a little while. Now on to the post…

Romesco sauce has become a Saturday night tradition in the Diaz household. It all Romescostarted a few years ago when Miguel was sitting in the “husband chairs” at Anthropologie and picked up a cookbook about Spain. That day it was him, not me, buying something from Anthropologie–the irony. For some reason, he chose to make romesco sauce from the cookbook, which is a red pepper and nut-based sauce from Spain that is traditionally served with seafood. The food that we have with romesco, usually grilled chicken and potatoes, has just become a vehicle for the romesco. And what’s great is that romesco tastes amazing on pretty much anything, hence the title of my post. Romesco does take a bit of work to put together, but the reward is well worth it and it lasts in the fridge for at least a week. Also, no, I did not have a bet with someone about how many times I can use the word “romesco” in a pharagraph. Wow. If you’re counting, it was 7.

We started off Saturday night with the usual: grilled chicken, potatoes and salad. Saturday morning: scrambled egg tacos (they also make a delicious and quick worknight meal). Saturday night: chicken enchiladas. All smothered in romesco. That makes 8 now.

(In the name of full disclosure, I have never made this myself but I have had a few requests for this recipe, and Miguel has been dying to be a “guest blogger”.)

Romesco sauce:

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 15 oz. jar of roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 small roma tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled, wrapped in aluminum foil pouch
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp smoked paprika (It can have a bit of a bite to it, so add 1 tbsp if you’re sensitive to heat.)

Preheat the oven to 400˚. On a parchment lined baking sheet, roast the fresh red bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for about 15-20 minutes, until the skins of the bell peppers are starting to blacken. Allow the bell peppers and tomatoes to cool slightly and then remove as much of the skins as possible (I’ve found the easiest way to do this is place them in a brown paper bag and allow them to steam for a few minutes, the skins will come right off). Remove the skins from the garlic once they have cooled.

Bring a small pot of water to boil. When you reach a rolling boil, blanch the hazelnuts for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Combine jarred red bell peppers, freshly roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, hazelnuts, smoked paprika, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a food processor. Pureé until smooth. If necessary, with the motor running, drizzle in more olive oil until you reach a pesto-like consistency.

Saturday Morning Egg Tacos (Serves 2 people who eat a lot)

  • 3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 6 tortillas
  • 1 cup arugula
  • Romesco sauce!

Whisk the whole eggs, egg whites, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt together in aEggs, tacos, romesco, breakfast small bowl. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add the eggs when the pan is good and warm. Gently bring the cooked eggs from the outside of the pan towards the middle of the pan, allowing the uncooked egg to spread out to the edges, which will allow the eggs to cook evenly.

While your eggs cook, bring a small saute pan to medium heat. Crisp the tortillas for about 2-3 minutes per side, until starting to brown slightly.

Evenly divide eggs between the tortillas, top with a bit of minced shallot, a few avocado slices, a few arugula leaves, and of course a very generous dollop of romesco sauce!

Sunday night: Chicken enchiladas with, you guessed it!, romesco sauce! For this recipe, I used my previous recipe, black bean, cauliflower & pickled red onion enchiladas, but substituted 6 oz of shredded jack cheese for the goat cheese, and added left over shredded chicken from Saturday night. I also left the pickled red onions out of the enchilada filling, instead using them as just a topping. And, of course, I used romesco as the enchilada sauce. I had about 2 cups of romesco left over, to which I added about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to thin it out and cover the enchiladas. I then covered the enchiladas with another 2 oz of jack cheese and baked for 20 minutes in a 400 oven until the cheese was melted and golden.

Granola

I really love breakfast. No, I really love breakfast. Sometimes when I’m going to sleep at Healthy Granolanight, I’m excited to wake up the next morning so I can have breakfast. Did I really just admit that?

Lucky for me, I get to have a “second breakfast” when I’m at work. At mid-morning, when I take my first break of the day, that’s when I get to have my favorite meal all over again. I serve the granola over low-fat yogurt for added protein with either cut fresh berries if they’re in season or any variety of dried fruit. Most store-bought oatmeal has so much fat that I think even Julia Child would raise an eyebrow. But this oatmeal is very different. Look ma, no butter! And even better, the prep for this granola was quite literally 5 minutes. The possibilities for this granola are endless so feel free to experiment!

This makes a great breakfast, even if you’re only having one per day.

Recipe lightly adapted from Bon Appétit

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1.5 cups of chopped nuts (I used pistachios & walnuts, but the possibilities are endless!)
  • 1.5 cups coconut shavings
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten with a fork

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Combine all your ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to coat. Spread out in a parchment lined 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, mixing about every 10 minutes to get your mixture evenly golden. The granola will last in an airtight container for at least a couple weeks.