Salsa romesco

Prepare this at home before the trip and spoon it into a jar to save you having to pestle and mortar until you are blue in the face outside the tent. If you store this red sauce in a sterilized jar, it can keep for ages. Salsa romesco is mildly spicy and tangy and so great with meat and fish that has been simply cooked over a barbeque or campfire. This should make two small jars worth.
The romesco chilli is traditionally used in Spain, but ancho chillis are more likely obtained in the UK. Failing that, use dried kashmiri chillis with some smoked paprika to add barbecued sweetness. For a milder fruitier sauce, use just the one chilli. You can always add spice, but you can never take it away.

I made this for a barbeque in my back garden in London. It went perfectly with seafood kebabs and Andalusian lamb (marinaded in red wine vinegar and juniper). I recently made this in a pestle and mortar, but you can throw all the ingredients in a blender, just don’t over blend as you want a sauce with some texture to it.

How to sterilize a jar

Clean jars and new lids in hot soapy water. Put the jars in a pre-heated medium oven for ten minutes. Use as soon as they are cool enough to fill.


3 red peppers, roasted, deseeded and skinned, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, score the skin in a cross all the way around and roast for a few minutes
80g hazelnuts, roasted in a medium oven for 5-8 minutes until brown, then rub until the skin comes away
2 dried ancho chillis, if not available then 2 dried kashmiri chillies plus a pinch of smoked paprika
2 tbs red wine vinegar
75ml olive oil
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

Crush the hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar until crumb-like, then add the garlic and ancho chillis (or the kashmiri chillis and paprika), salt, and crush some more. Add tomatoes and peppers, red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar: you may need to decant to a larger bowl unless you are using a massive mortar. Add the oil in a fine drizzle, stirring each bit in well, otherwise you may end up with a greasy sauce, rather than a velvety one. Taste, season.

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