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Romesco Sauce

Romesco sauce is a lively Catalonian pesto full of roasted garlic flavor. Serve it with grilled shrimp, over cold sliced boiled beets, or with lamb meatballs. The romesco sauce freezes perfectly. You can also cover the sauce with oil and hold it in the refrigerator for about 10 days

Makes about 1 cup

1 garlic bulb, peels on
2 small dried chipotle chiles
4 dried tomatoes
1 cup chopped marinated peppers, drained, oil reserved
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 400˚F

Place the garlic bulb on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven and roast for 15 minutes until very tender.

In a small bowl, soak the dried chiles in ½ cup water until soft, about 10 minutes, then drain.

In a separate bowl, soak the dried tomatoes in ½ cup water until soft, about 10 minutes, but do not drain.

In a food processor, or with a mortar and pestle, combine 2 cloves roasted garlic, chiles, tomatoes, tomato soaking water, marinated peppers, pine nuts, and salt to taste and puree.

If needed, to keep the sauce soft and loose, add the oil reserved from draining the peppers 1 tablespoon at a time. To make the sauce very smooth, press through a fine-mesh sieve. If you are going to serve immediately or freeze, add water to loosen to the consistency of yogurt.

Note: Even though I only need 2 garlic cloves for this recipe, I roast a whole bulb to combine with butter and smear onto grilled meat.

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Eugenia Bone is a cook and author whose stories and recipes have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Saveur and Food & Wine. She is also the author of 5 books. Visit Eugenia’s blog at TheKitchenEcosystem.com.

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