Grilled Veggies With Salsa Romesco (a.k.a. “Catalan Ketchup”)

Mediterranean food guru Joyce Goldstein calls salsa romesco “Catalan ketchup” – the nut-thickened sauce, she notes, “seems to be good on everything, from broiled fish and lamb chops to cooked beets, potatoes, asparagus or green beans.” (Click here to see salsa romesco recipe.)

Salsa romesco is a specialty of the Spanish city of Tarragona. Joyce’s version features chiles, red bell peppers, hazelnuts, almonds, paprika, red wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.

In her book Tapas (Chronicle Books, 2009), Joyce pairs the romesco with grilled vegetables that currently are at their seasonal peak:  artichokes, asparagus and green onions. (Click here to see the recipe.)

One of our more robust oils, like our Miller’s Blend or Arbosana, would be an especially good choice for making the romesco.

The inspiration for Joyce’s recipe comes from a green onion dish served in Spain.

“In early spring, when the large green onions called calçots appear in Barcelona’s famed La Boqueria market, it’s time to fire up the grill for the traditional calçotada, a feast that pairs the sweet, tender onions with salsa romesco,” Joyce writes. She suggests using spring onions, large green onions, or baby leeks.

“For variety, and because they are in season at the same time, I like to grill some fat asparagus spears and artichokes to go along with the onions,” Joyce adds. Plan to cook the vegetables in boiling water before you toss them on the grill brushed with olive oil. (Our Everyday Fresh oil would work well.)

And be prepared to roll up your sleeves when you eat the veggies dipped in the romesco. “The onions are quite juicy, so you might need to hand out bibs when everyone sits down to eat,” Joyce advises.

Bon appétit,

Your friends at California Olive Ranch