Romanesco & Romesco

IMG_3874

Romesco sauce may be my most favorite sauce ever. If you love roasted red peppers you will love it too! It works with tofu, on crostini, or as a dipping sauce for this gorgeous Romanesco cauliflower which is just coming back into season.

Romesco is a sauce from Spain that is made from roasted red peppers and almonds. Super easy to make; only a few ingredients in the processor. Don’t tell me this sounds difficult to make like my Aunt just did when I told her I was having it for lunch. It’s only a few ingredients! Make it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Then heat it up.

Romanesco is a sort of broccoli/cauliflower combo. It is has little light green cone shaped florets that easily cut apart. It has a crunchier texture than cauliflower and a sort of nutty flavor.

So these two together equal deliciousness for a side or snack.

Romanesco Cauliflower
1 head of romanesco
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
Salt, a pinch

Cut the romanesco into florets and cut any really big ones in half. Toss with oil and salt. Turn out onto a baking sheet, cut side down for the bigger pieces, and roast at 425 until browning on the edges and bottom, anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven.

Romesco Sauce (makes about 1 cup)
3 roasted red peppers
1/3 cup raw almonds
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, to taste

Toss the garlic and almonds into the food processor and pulse until finely ground. The finer the almonds, the smoother the sauce. I like a little texture myself. 

Add the peppers, paprika, sherry vinegar and pulse a few times. Add the olive oil and salt and process until combined. Taste and adjust spices.

Serve and enjoy!

IMG_3873

Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Cashew Cheese Sandwich

IMG_0203

I always keep roasted red peppers and cashew cheese in the refrigerator. I had roasted the rest of the green garlic I got at the farmer’s market earlier in the week. So this lunch came together in seconds. All I did was add some lemon zest to the cashew cheese and sandwiched the whole thing up with some spinach.

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (makes about 1 cup)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

Drain the cashews and blend in the blender or Vitamix with 1/4 cup of water. Add more water, by the tablespoon, if too thick. Strain in a fine mesh strainer, if it ends up too watery. If you use a Vitamix, you probably won’t need to strain. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Roasted red peppers
Roasted garlic
Cashew cheese + lemon zest + salt and pepper, to taste
Baby Spinach
Bread

Toast the bread. Spread roasted garlic on both toasts. Then spread the cashew cheese on top of the roasted garlic. Next, top with spinach and roasted red peppers. Eat it open faced or close it up for a typical sandwich. Enjoy!

IMG_0194

Balsamic Marinated Roasted Red Pepper & Hummus Sandwich

IMG_0227

In my quest for the perfect sandwich, I have been making a lot of combinations. I LOVE balsamic vinegar with hummus so I marinated the roasted red peppers with balsamic, some capers and then placed them on top of the hummus. A great sandwich.

Hummus
1 roasted red pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon capers
Bread

Roast the peppers beforehand. If the peppers are a day or two old, there will be lots of red pepper juice which is great for sauce but for this I like to drain it. Then add the balsamic and capers and marinate for as long as you have time for.

Toast the bread. Spread the hummus on the toast. Spoon out the capers and drop them onto the hummus. Top with the marinated roasted red pepper. Top with the other toast. Enjoy!

IMG_0223