My son remembered a delicious spread we bought once called Romesco, looked up a recipe, and sent it to me. Hint, hint.
The photo shows an open-face sandwich I made with my VEGAN ROMESCO SPREAD WITH CAULIFLOWER, some roasted tempeh strips, cucumber, radish, tomato and green onion and arugula, with roasted onion to the side. This spread is very flavorful and filling. Although maybe that was because I ate several scoops of it before I constructed my sandwich…it was that good.
I bought some of the ingredients today and came right home to make the Romesco spread. I didn’t follow the original recipe, as usual. The tomatoes were expensive, so I decided to use some cauliflower to stretch it. Why cauliflower? I like how it tastes when it is roasted.
I also changed the hot pepper from Ancho to Jalapeno, because that’s what I could find, and I added a green pepper for good measure. The nuts could probably be any nuts, but I bought a small amount of hazelnuts and I had some almonds at home. I didn’t blanch the nuts.
1 container – grape tomatoes, or 4 medium tomatoes cut into pieces
1 -- green pepper, seeded and halved
1 – fresh hot pepper, seeded and halved (be careful not to touch your eyes after touching the pepper, until you have washed your hands thoroughly) Ancho or Jalapeno. You can use a dry pepper if you briefly roast it in oil in a pan and then soak in hot water for 15 minutes.
1 head – cauliflower, separate into chunks
1 -- whole garlic, slice across the middle while it’s still in its papery covering
½ cup – nuts, almonds and hazelnuts and a few sunflower seeds
1/3 cup – olive oil, plus more to drizzle over vegetables
3 Tbl. – red wine vinegar
1 tsp. -- sea salt
Roast the vegetables on a pan in a 375 degree oven for about an hour and a half. Drizzle olive oil over them before you roast them. The garlic can sit facing up. The peppers will puff up.
Meanwhile, roast the nuts in a pan on the stove until they begin to get a little toasted, stirring them frequently. After five minutes or so, you can turn off the pan and let them sit to cool off. Grind them in a coffee grinder when they are cool. They don’t have to be completely smooth, as texture is nice in this dish.
When the roasted vegetables are cooled down, process them with the vinegar, salt, and olive oil. Add the ground up nuts. Process. Serve.
The tempeh can be roasted at the same time, sprinkled with olive oil and tamari. I also peeled three onions and roasted them alongside the tempeh.
Besides being delicious eaten off your finger or some crusty bread, this will be great on some pasta later on. It will be good for about a week in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long.
This vegan Romesco spread can be changed around to suit your particular tastes or what you have available. In the summer, when there are lots of tomatoes and peppers, you won’t need the cauliflower. It sure was tasty, though.
By the way, there is a type of cauliflower called Romanesco – if you used that kind (kind of greenish and pointed), you could call your dish Romanesco Romesco…