The first time I had romesco sauce was at one of the most inspiring events I have ever been to.
It was at a Sunday Suppers dinner, back when they were held in a gorgeous studio in Brooklyn. I mean, floor to ceiling windows- white everything- huge open kitchen space and a table that was about 15ft long that sat almost 25 of us.
We prepared a meal with cookbook author Sarah Copeland, and instantly my world felt like it grew tenfold.
All of the sudden my dreams got huge- I saw what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, the types of people I wanted to be around. One woman created this space and invited people from all over to join her in the kitchen to cook meals with renowned chefs and authors. She fit the whole world in 500 square feet. I was a tiny 18 year old pretending to sip on my wine and people were talking about their ski homes in Aspen, their summer trips to Napa, and what has been going on at the Met lately.
I was surrounded by a bunch of *worldly* people, and I had to prove that my appetite was worthy of their company. I found myself trying foods outside of my pizza and grilled cheese comfort zone, including romesco sauce.
I will admit I wasn't sold on it initially, just barely letting it graze my roasted vegetables at that table that night. Since then I've made countless variations and I've settled on one that really hits the spot for me. I'll make it as a sauce for some vegetables but then keep it in the fridge and spread it on sandwiches and use it as a dip throughout the week.
Vegan Pecan Romesco
makes a little over one cup
2/3 cup pecans
1 bell pepper, grilled or roasted
2 medium tomatoes, roasted
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 c olive oil
small handful parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Toast the pecans in a saucepan over medium heat just until they start to smell really really good.
Toss all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender (all of it fit in my lil bullet blender!) and process until nearly smooth. If the tomatoes and or peppers are still hot, don't forget to hold a dishtowel over the top of the blender so it doesn't explode!
Serve with roasted veggies while still warm OR let it hang in the fridge overnight and serve along some crudite- this is a very versatile spread!