Hazelnut Romesco Sauce

  • SERVINGS: makes about 1 1/2 cups

For this accompaniment to his spiced short ribs, Michael Schwartz prepares his own version of the classic Catalan red pepper sauce. He thickens it with sourdough bread, which adds a pleasant tang.

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  1. 1 small red bell pepper
  2. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  3. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1/2 cup cubed sourdough bread ( 1/2 inch)
  5. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  7. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  8. 1/2 cup skinned roasted hazelnuts, chopped
  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Roast the red bell pepper directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning, until charred all over; let cool. Discard the charred skin, stem and seeds. Coarsely chop the bell pepper.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the bread cubes and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until crisp, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  3. In a food processor, combine the roasted pepper, toasted bread cubes, sherry vinegar, tomato paste, garlic and hazelnuts and puree. With the machine on, slowly pour in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season the romesco sauce with salt and pepper.
Make Ahead
The romesco sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Let return to room temperature before serving.