Turn the flame up high for this wonderful romesco sauce veggie delight
Serves 4
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Ditch the fish for tender, flavourful eggplant and zucchini in this tomato-based sauce originating from Tarragona, Catalonia. You may even catch a whiff of garlic, toasted almonds, and pine nuts – magical additions to a chargrilled dish that’s at once light, yet robust.



  • 2 medium red capsicum (400 g)
  • 1 medium tomato (150 g)
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2 tsps sweet paprika
  • ½ cup (80 g) blanched almonds, roasted
  • ½ cup (70 g) skinless roasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsps sherry or red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water


  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 medium eggplant (900 g), sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 zucchini (480 g), sliced thinly, lengthways
  • ⅓ cup (55 g) blanched almonds, roasted, chopped coarsely
  • ⅓ cup (45 g) skinless roasted hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, torn

Make romesco sauce. Roast capsicums and tomato directly over a gas flame on stove-top, turning until charred (or roast in a hot heavy-based frying pan or grill pan, turning, until charred). Wrap individually in foil. Peel away skins. Chop capsicum and tomato; keep separated.


Heat half the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat; cook chopped capsicum and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 3 mins or until capsicum is soft.


Add chopped tomato and paprika; cook for 3 mins or until tomato softens. Process nuts until finely chopped; add capsicum mixture, sherry and the water and blend until smooth. Season to taste.


Preheat a grill pan to high. Spray vegetables with olive oil; season with salt. Cook vegetables, in batches, for 4 mins each side until tender and lightly charred.


Layer vegetables on a platter; top with nuts and parsley. Serve with romesco sauce.

TIP Romesco is a traditional northern Spanish sauce, much like pesto in texture, made from a mixture of nuts and fire-roasted capsicum that often accompanies seafood or a local roasted Catalonian spring onion.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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