Romesco is a Spanish sauce from the region of Catalonia, where a variation called salvitxada is served as a dip for calçots, local spring onions traditionally charred over open fires; Windy Hills Farm’s baby leeks are a great Aussie substitute for Spanish calçots. One of Spain’s most popular sauces, with as many variations as there are cooks, Romesco is very versatile – it’s popular with seafood but also delicious with poultry and red meat. The essential ingredients are nuts, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and red peppers (see video below). Traditionally dried sweet romesco peppers were used, though today ñora peppers (most commonly used for smoked paprika) are often included. If they’re unavailable, red capsicum and sweet smoked Spanish paprika are easy to find and give a great result. Since we’re talking Spain, I think Sherry is a perfect accompaniment to grilled lamb cutlets with romesco sauce, especially a rich, nutty Oloroso like Lustau’s Don Nuño, which beautifully echoes the hazelnuts and almonds in the sauce. Any leftover sauce will keep in the fridge for a week.
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