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I like to think of romesco sauce as Spain’s answer to pesto. The tomato and roasted bell peppers lend sweetness, almonds give it a nutty richness, bread provides texture, and smoked paprika and cumin round it all out with a subtle smokiness. This version was adapted from this recipe, featured in Bon Appetit. This vegan sauce can be served alongside non-meat mains, like tempeh, seared tofu, or grilled cauliflower steaks; drizzled over charred spring or green onions for a vibrant side dish; or combined with pasta cooking water for a luxurious pasta sauce. I decided to entertain the carnivore inside of me and serve it with breaded chicken cutlets.

1 medium tomato, rough chop (I used a grilled, peeled tomato leftover from a recent “grill night”)
1 1/2 roasted red bell peppers, rough chop
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, or torn stale bread
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
Pinch cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients, except for olive oil, in a food processor and whirl until mostly smooth.
2. Drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running. Add water to thin, if desired.

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Notes: absolutely lovely, but I admit that I didn’t do a good job of recording exact ratios. The above was recorded from memory, and I will need to retest to recreate results.

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I used this recipe from Bon Appetit for Thai Larb. Here is how I adapted it:

1 small onion, rough dice
1 jalapeno, thin slice
2 cloves garlic, thin slice
2 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Zest of 2 limes, thin slice
3 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 3/4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
8 leaves butter, romaine, or iceberg lettuce leaves
Cilantro, for garnish

For the sauce:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce

1. In a food processor, place onion, jalapeno, garlic, fish sauce, salt, lime zest, and 1 Tbsp of the oil. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add the pork to the food processor and pulse until it is very finely chopped.
3. In a pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the pork mixture and cook, breaking it apart with the back of a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
4. Make the sauce: combine the ingredients and stir.
5. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and fill each leaf with larb. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with cilantro.

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Leftovers were piled into a container and layered with kimchi. YUM.