A traditional Spanish condiment made from roasted red peppers, Romesco sauce is zesty and flavorful. With almonds and tangy vinegar, it's a great dip for a party or snack board.
This entire post is about using this delicious Romesco dip for little dippers, crackers and snack boards. Right off the bat, I'm going to tell you that it is absolutely delicious on a ham sandwich!
Yes! Slather some of this sauce on a ham sandwich (with delicious leftover roast ham), maybe even add some arugula, and you've got the best meal ever! Now, on to the dip details.
What is Romesco sauce?
Romesco sauce is a delicious condiment heralding from Spain. It's a saucy Spanish addition to grilled food and tapas. Traditionally made with a base of tomatoes, and often hazelnuts, other variations have become popular.
I make mine with roasted red peppers. This is a modern variation and the delicious flavor goes with all types of grilled food, roasted veggies and sandwiches.
I made this dip a little thicker using almonds, and I added mint for a burst of fresh flavor. You can swap in other nuts, like hazelnuts or walnuts if desired.
Where is this condiment from?
Origins of this condiment can be traced back to Catalonia, Spain, where fishermen ate Romesco sauce with the fish they caught.
Their sauce was typically made from roasted tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, peppers and different kinds of nuts including almonds, pine nuts, and hazelnuts.
Often in from the coast, in the cities, romesco sauce is served with tapas (or small nibbles) at restaurants.
Dips for snack boards:
I love using this Romesco sauce on a snack board with lots of dippers.
Vegetables, grilled meats or skewers, roasts and starchy food like root vegetables and potatoes, even potato chips, make great dippers for your party spread.
Make some of my other dips and add them to your party snack board too.
How to use Romesco sauce:
Traditionally Romesco Sauce is eaten on meat and fish, and it is used as a substitute for tomato sauce.
The flavors from the olive oil, almonds, peppers, and paprika give it a unique and zesty taste. Read on for all the delicious ways to serve romesco.
Use it as a dip, spread or sauce:
Romesco sauce as a dip pairs well with vegetables, potatoes, shrimp and crackers. Try using it as a substitute for tomato sauce on pizzas and flatbreads.
It's also delicious with bread and I use it as a sandwich spread all the time!
This sauce brings extra zest when mixed with hummus and eaten with pita chips or veggies for a super filling lunch.
Roasting your own peppers
I roast my own peppers for this Romesco dip. It's quite easy if you have a grill, broiler or gas stove.
I give instructions for a broiler in my recipe, but, you can TOTALLY use store-bought, jarred roasted red peppers.
To roast bell peppers on your gas stovetop, simply place peppers on the element grate over the gas flame. Turn occasionally with tongs, letting the skin char and blister.
Then the skin is mostly black, remove to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Proceed with the recipe, blending all the ingredients in a food processor.
Jarred roasted red peppers will change the taste slightly. They are prepared in an acidic brine as a preservative, so there's some extra tang. Just drain off the juices and use them as is.
- 4 red bell peppers
- 5 oz whole blanched almonds
- 2 cloves garlic small
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp sweet paprika
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves finely chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
- Heat broiler and place rack 6 inches from heat. Broil bell peppers, turning occasionally, until charred, about 30 minutes Transfer to a bowl, cover and let stand 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spread out nuts on baking sheet and bake until just golden, about 12 minutes; cool.
- Peel skin from peppers, core and seed. In a food processor, purée together peppers, nuts, garlic, salt, vinegar and paprika. Add oil and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl; stir in mint and parsley.
Recipe by Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes and food styling for magazines, books, television and advertising. Find out more about me!