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
EGGPLANT & ZUCCHINI
- 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.