Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Roasted Salmon with Red Pepper Almond (Romesco) Sauce

Red Pepper Almond Sauce also known as Romesco

Romesco is a delicious sauce, and it is not hard to make at all.  It originated in Catalonia, Spain, and goes well with fish, vegetables or meat.  It is a versatile sauce made of raw nuts, sweet red peppers and tomatoes.

This is Food TV chef Geoffrey Zakarian's version of Romesco.  He uses piquillo peppers instead of regular roasted red peppers (but they would work just as well.) He omits the tomatoes and uses lots of fresh herbs-- tarragon and basil -- along with garlic.

Piquillo peppers were new to us. We found them in the same aisle of the grocery store as jarred roasted red peppers.

Romesco (Red Pepper Almond Sauce)
(from Geoffrey Zakarian's My Perfect Pantry cookbook)

Serves 4

1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup piquillo peppers, drained well (or jarred roasted red peppers)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 skin-on salmon fillets(about 6 ounces each)
olive oil or canola oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, combine the almonds, basil, tarragon, piquillos and garlic.  Pulse to make a chunky paste.  In a spouted measuring cup, mix together the vinegar and oil, and with the processor running, pour it in
to make a thick, chunky sauce.  Add 1 T. or so of water to adjust the consistency, if necessary.  Season with salt to taste.

To make the salmon, I used the technique I prefer, which is to roast them in a very hot oven, but you can also grill them.

To roast them, pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.  Pat the filets dry, then place them skin side down in a roasting pan, generously salt and pepper, then drizzle with oil.
Roast for 8-9 minutes until firm.  Carefully remove the filets from the pan, leaving the skin behind.
Serve with a generous amount of  Romesco sauce.


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