Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Romesco Sauce (Roasted Tomato and Almond Sauce)

Here's a 'littlie'...

A lovely, easy sauce to quickly put together - just throw three of the ingredients under the grill (broiler) and blitz - delicious with fish, chicken or vegetables.

Salsa Romesco (Roasted Tomato, Garlic and Almond Sauce)

Serves three as a sauce/accompaniment to a main meal. From 90 calories per serving.

This is a classic Spanish sauce, perfect for serving with fish (such as grilled sea bass, cod, monkfish etc.), vegetables and meat. If you’re not able to eat nuts, you could always thicken the sauce with fried (or toasted) bread instead (providing you're not allergic to gluten/wheat etc. - if so, use GF), which was also used in the past for those who didn’t have access to almond trees/almonds.

  • 2 large vine tomatoes (about 220g) [44]
  • 4 garlic cloves (unskinned) [24]
  • 20g blanched almonds* (you could use slivered, or ground, but the flavour and texture will be a little different) [126]
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional) [8]
  • ½ tbsp red (or white) wine vinegar [2]
  • ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste on non-fast days!) [65]
  • Salt (initially try ¼ teaspoon) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste [1]


Pre-heat the grill (broiler) to medium and line a baking tray with foil. Put the tomatoes, garlic cloves (in their skins) and almonds on the tray, and put under the grill. Initially, you will need to keep a close eye on it, as the almonds will start to brown very quickly and need turning before they burn – you only want to brown them a little. 

Remove them once lightly browned and set aside into a food processor (or blender - you could do this all by hand in a pestle and mortar, but it will be hard work!). Continue to grill, turning occasionally - the garlic will be cooked next, once it is browned and the tomatoes will take up to about twenty minutes once the skins are wrinkled and coming off.

Remove the skins from the garlic and tomatoes. Chop the bottom end off the garlic, and cut the skinned tomatoes in half, and remove the tough green part where the stalk is. Add the garlic to the nuts in the food processor and blitz to a paste. Add the tomatoes and other ingredients, and then blend to a creamy sauce – it will have a slightly rough texture from the nuts, it is not meant to be smooth. Serve warm with fish, vegetables or meat.

If you're not counting calories, you could add extra olive oil – it will take up to another tablespoon and a half, or to taste.

*You can use hazelnuts instead of almonds, or a mix of the two. You can also use a slice of fried bread (gluten free if making this for coeliacs) to thicken the sauce if you are unable to or do not wish to use nuts.

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