Romesco Sauce is from the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain and is probably as famous there as ketchup is in other regions of the world. Like Italian pesto, this versatile Spanish sauce is raw, not cooked and is low carb, vegan, keto and paleo friendly. Healthier but just as flavorful as my original version, what is missing from this recipe is the bread which is used as a thickener in the traditional Catalonian version. Made from vivid roasted sweet red bell peppers, almonds and olive oil, it is delicious served with fish, chicken, and grilled meats and vegetables.
While usually made with dried nyora chilies, most people living outside of Spain use roasted red bell peppers. You can roast your own which I’ve done in the past but if short on time, use jarred roasted red peppers that have been packed in oil like I did for this recipe. I served this healthy, vivid roasted red bell pepper sauce on a chicken breast and the simple dish had me reminiscing about our trip to Spain last fall. While in Barcelona, we saw Romesco sauce served alongside several different tapas dishes.
Romesco Sauce, A Low Carb Keto Version
- 1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted lightly
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 c. roughly chopped roasted and peeled red peppers or 1 jar (14 oz.) fire roasted bell peppers, drained
- 2 Tbsp. red wine or sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- a pinch of cayenne pepper (I used an 1/8 tsp.) or to taste
- 1/4 c. olive oil
Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. Be careful not to process too much or you will end up with a paste. Add the garlic, peppers, vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne to the food processor and pulse until a smooth consistency. Slowly drizzle in the oil while the processor is running. You should end up with a slightly thickened, creamy consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and cayenne, if necessary. If the Romesco sauce is too thick, drizzle in a little more oil while processing. If too thin, add a little more finely chopped almonds. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
The romesco sauce added vibrant color and wonderful flavors to the simply prepared chicken breast that I served it with. While a slightly thinner sauce than the traditional version made with the addition of bread, I don’t think the bread adds much flavor but definitely adds carbs and calories that I was trying to avoid. If you have been making an effort to cut out carbs from your diet, I think this condiment will be a staple in your kitchen. This healthy romesco sauce has so many uses…serve as you would hummus, as a sauce, a salad dressing or even as a flavor enhancer for soups and stews.