Romesco Sauces for Calcotts, fish, sausages….

In January there is a tradition here to eat barbecued Calcotts which are like a big spring onion. They are served with Romesco Sauce .  We did this and I made three different sauces.  A bit of taste testing!

Three Romesco Sauces waiting to be tried.

Three Romesco Sauces waiting to be tried.

(A Picante one ) From “A Catalan Cookery Book”  Irving Davis ISBN 780907325925)

A good slice of bread

3 cloves of garlic

3 or 4 topmates grilled on a wood fire

12 grilled, blanched Almonds

a large glass of wine

a soup spoon of paprica

a very little chilli pepper

a teaspoon of wine vinegar

Fry the bread in olive oil, add all the ingredients into a food blender (Pestle and mortar if you want to be totally authentic) and whizz.  Fry the mixture in the same pan as the bread for a 10 minutes or so.  If you are using this with fish , top the fish with the mixture after a minute or so and bake fish and sauce together in a shallow pan on a slow fire (or low oven, uncovered) for about 20 minutes.

A Sweeter one, again Davis’ recipe.

40 grilled, blanched almonds,

3 cloves of garlic grilled on wood embers,

a small slice of raw onion

A carquinyoli (Dry catalan biscuit) ( I used toast!)

teaspoon sweet paprica

chopped parsley

a very slight quantity of hot red chilli powder

3 – 4 large tomatoes grilled on a wood fire

teaspoon of wine vinegar

Olive oil.

Whizz all in food processor  until very smooth.  Again,  you can use a pestle and mortar.  You can. ….

Rick Steins recipe (His is much more long winded!)

This includes Nora pepper which I haven’t seen in the UK but might be available!

1 dried Nora pepper


225g small vine ripened tomatoes halved

15g Hazelnut (I used almonds because  they grow here on the finca)

120 ml Olive oil

4 fat cloves of garlic

15g day old bread ( he says cut off the crusts!)

a pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper.

Much more complicated…. soak pepper for an hour, Bake Tomatoes for 20 min, nuts  for 5.  Fry bread and garlic.  Scrape flesh of the Nora skins and add all except oil into a Food processor and whizz. Dribble the oil in to produce a mayonnaise type sauce. Yum!