Bold & Zippy Romesco
Romesco is a sauce originating in the Catalonian region of Spain and has a flavor profile of peppers and nuts. It is a nice bold, zippy sauce.
Conventionally, it can be time-consuming to make, if you choose to roast the peppers, but in this version, a good quality jarred roasted red pepper (yes, please spend the extra little bit to get really good quality roasted red peppers, they will make the difference) is the key to a quick 5-minute sauce.
Traditionally Romesco is served with fish but often it is just a great sauce that I have added to grilled or roasted chicken, meat, raw vegetables or, as I have here, to roasted cauliflower steaks. With this in mind, note that this Romesco recipe freezes well, so don’t worry about what to do with the leftovers. Freeze in small containers and use to create lots of wonderful, flavorful dishes.
Cauliflower is one of my personal favorite vegetables, I love it raw, roasted, sautéed, riced – you name it. In this recipe, I created cauliflower “steaks” or slices that resulted in a nice vegetarian meal that is company-worthy. In this version, I serve the cauliflower steaks over a bed of the Romesco sauce and then drizzle a little high-quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) over. Serve with a side of bread to sop up all the delicious sauce and EVOO. Smaller portions of this also make for a great side dish.
So, make a batch and liven up that weeknight meal. BE BRAVE about what you serve it with, I know it will be delicious!
Romesco Sauce with Cauliflower steaks
1 large cauliflower
2 tablespoons Garlic Olive oil**
Salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
Chopped parsley, or a spicy/lemony blend of microgreens
1 jar of good roasted red peppers (16oz)**
½ cup blanched almonds, toasted
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and rinsed (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika**
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1/3 cup Single estate EVOO
Pre-Heat the oven to 425 F
Trim the bottom of the stem so the cauliflower stands upright. Cut the head into vertical slices about 1 ½ inches thick.
Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Brush with oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast, flipping once halfway, until cauliflower is tender and golden, about 35 minutes. (See Tips below)
Meanwhile, make the sauce
Process all the ingredients (except the EVOO) in a food processor until well blended. Start to drizzle in the EVOO while the blender is running until you reach the desired consistency of the sauce.
Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Plate by spreading about 1/8th cup of sauce on a plate, carefully place the cauliflower steaks on top of the sauce and garnish with herbs or microgreens
**The essence of this amazing Catalonian sauce is the red peppers, so splurge on good quality roasted red peppers for this recipe.
**The Smoked Paprika from Oil & Vinegar has a particularly intense smokiness that I love because of the specific way it is smoked. The Garlic Oil, adds another layer of flavor to the cauliflower, but you can use a plain EVOO and add a little more garlic powder.
Cauliflower steaks are easy, but you can simply cut the cauliflower into florets and roast instead –in which case, I would reduce the roasting time to about 20 minutes in the oven.