Romesco, a rich sauce made from puréeing roasted peppers and nuts, has always been one of our favorite condiments for charred veg. This recipe from Rebecca Weitzman, executive chef of Chalk Point Kitchen in NYC, takes the classic romesco and gives it a Middle Eastern spin with roasted apricots and pine nuts.
While we love this romesco over grilled asparagus in the spring, make it throughout the summer to spoon over grilled squash, eggplant or even grilled meats.
Grilled Asparagus with Apricot and Pine Nut Romesco
Recipe adapted from Rebecca Weitzman, Chalk Point Kitchen, New York, NY
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
¼ cup (10 each) dried apricots, plus more roughly chopped for garnish
2 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
½ Fresno chile pepper
½ red onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup toasted pine nuts, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
Torn basil leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. In a large bowl, toss the apricots, tomatoes, peppers, red onion and garlic with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then lay out the mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with another sheet of tinfoil and bake until the vegetables are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Once cool enough to handle, remove the stems, skins and seeds from the peppers and the skins of the tomatoes. Transfer the cleaned peppers, tomatoes and remaining contents of the tray to a food processor with the toasted pine nuts and sherry vinegar. Pulse the mixture until a coarse purée forms, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus, turning often, until tender and well charred, 6 to 7 minutes.
4. Transfer the asparagus to a platter. Spoon the romesco over the asparagus and garnish with the chopped apricots, toasted pine nuts and torn basil leaves, then serve.