Holiday Recipe Ideas: Potato Crisps with Romesco Sauce

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Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce from Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. It is typically made from any mixture of roasted or raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive or sunflower oil, and bell peppers.  It’s a great dipping sauce for vegetables or accent for meat and fish.  Here’s my take on the Spanish classic!

Buon Appetito!


Holiday Recipe Ideas: Potato Crisps with Romesco Sauce and Basil
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup lightly salted Marcona almonds (or toasted blanched almonds)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 slice white bread (torn)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ pound small yellow or red potatoes (1 to 2 inches in diameter)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 lemons (zest only)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (cut into chiffonade)
  1. Roast garlic by first rubbing off excess dry skin from garlic head. Then place on baking sheet and rub generously with olive oil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes at 350º F or until garlic is roasted and soft.
  2. While garlic is roasting, blacken the red pepper on open flames on stove top or roast ahead in a 400º F oven for 20 minutes. Place hot pepper in a paper bag to steam and cool. When cool enough to handle, remove skin, stem, and seeds. Chop the pepper and set aside.
  3. Place almonds into food processor and process until finely ground.
  4. Pour 3 Tbsp. of virgin olive oil into a small frying pan and quickly fry bread until both sides are browned. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate.
  5. Cut tomatoes into quarters and sauté in same pan, adding oil if needed. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Once bread is cooled, process with the nuts. Add sautéed tomatoes and continue to process. Squeeze roasted garlic from the skins into the processor. Place roasted red pepper into the processor with the other ingredients (except the olive oil) and process until ingredients are a thick purée.
  7. While processor is running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Add salt to taste.
  8. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  9. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  10. Trim the ends off each potato and cut crosswise into ⅛ - ¼ inch slices. Hold the slices in ice water for a minimum of ½ hour. (This makes for a crisper potato.) Dry the potatoes completely and toss with 3 Tbsp. of olive oil and salt. Place slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping each slice after 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to paper towel to soak up excess oil.
  12. Top each potato slice with ½ tsp of Romesco Sauce. Garnish with a pinch of lemon zest and a sprinkle of basil. Arrange appetizers on a platter.

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