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Romesco-style spread

  • 30 minutes
  • Makes 1½ cups
Romesco-style spread

This thicker version of a classic Romesco sauce, a Catalan speciality, is ideal spread on crostini to enjoy with a chilled sherry. For a good flavour, use a sourdough-style bread. Process the mixture while the peppers, nuts and bread are warm to ensure the flavour of the paprika will be imparted. Serve cool.


  • 2 red peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 2 slices white bread, roughly torn
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes, blanched and peeled
  • ¼ cup almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (see Cook's Tips)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼-½ teaspoon smoked paprika (see Cook's Tips)


  1. Place the red pepper halves on a foil-lined tray and grill under a high heat until blackened. Cool only a little, until you can hold them, and then peel away the charred skin. Place in a food processor. In a frying pan, cook the bread in the oil until crispy then add to the processor.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Season wtih salt and pepper.

Cooks Tips

- To skin hazelnuts, roast them in a 180ºC oven for about 10 minutes until toasted. Cool, then rub between your hands over a sink to let the skins fall away. Alternatively, rub the warm toasted nuts ina clean dry tea towel. - Smoked paprikas can be very strong on flavour, so I tread carefully with the quantity. More can always be added but excess cannot be taken out.

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