At Mud Hen Water in Honolulu, chef Ed Kennedy roasts seasonal vegetables over kiawe wood, or Hawaiian mesquite, in his wood-burning oven. While home cooks might not have the luxury of a wood-burning stove, a blasting hot oven will give you the same effect. And, really, the star of this dish is the romesco sauce: With buttery macadamia nuts and a hint of spice from shishito peppers, it's a good condiment to have on hand.
To learn more, read "'Aina It Sweet."
Shishito and Macadamia Romesco with Roasted Vegetables
Recipe adapted from Ed Kenney, Mud Hen Water, Honolulu, HI
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Romesco:
¾ cup olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup shishito peppers, stems removed (12 to 14 shishito peppers)
½ cup macadamia nuts
½ cup stale bread cubes
1 medium yellow tomato, stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ cup packed cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Roasted Vegetables:
½ pound carrots, halved
½ pound small turnips, cut into ½-inch wedges
10 to 15 Tuscan kale leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1. Make the romesco: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, shishitos and macadamia nuts, frying for 1 minute. Add the bread and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato and sherry vinegar, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and let cool to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.
2. While the romesco is cooling, roast the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 500°. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, season the carrots, turnips and kale with the olive oil and salt. Toss to evenly coat and spread onto the prepared sheet pan. Roast until the kale leaves are crispy and charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the kale and set aside. Return the sheet pan to the oven and roast until the carrots are charred and the turnips are blistered, another 4 to 5 minutes.
3. In a blender, combine the cooled shishito mixture and cilantro, and mix on medium speed until it becomes a chunky purée. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Makes 1¼ cups romesco. Do ahead: The sauce can be made and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
4. Spoon the sauce onto a large platter, place the roasted vegetables on top and serve.
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