We've started grilling season early at our house, and the past few weekends have been spent on our back deck, grilling an assortment of meats and vegetables while drinking a glass of something ice cold alongside it. But let's be honest, if you live in Texas, it's practically grilling season year round. Summer is just better for grilling though because of all the summer produce!
While grilling nearly anything with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper is really good, doing those things and then serving it with a tangy, flavor packed romesco sauce is even better. The other weekend, I experimented with this romesco sauce while Kyle was grilling some chicken and assorted veg. We spooned it on top of everything and WOW. It took things up a notch!
I've been told that you know you are a good cook when you start making sauces. Sauces are everything. It's where all the extra flavor is, and it elevates something that is already good on its own to something even better.
According to the internet, romesco is a red pepper sauce invented by fishermen in California somewhere to be eaten atop, well, fish. It is also normally made with almonds. I swapped in walnuts here for a chunkier (and almost meatier? if that makes sense?) texture.
Y'all, if you have never made a romesco sauce before, you need to this summer. It goes great on everything!!
Naturally, it is a match made in heaven when it comes to potatoes. These smashed potatoes require two steps: boiling and then baking, but it is oh-so-worth-it.
Bring your potatoes and water to a boil while you casually make your sauce in a food processor (or blender). If using baby potatoes, they will cook in no time, and then just smash them with the heal of your hand or with the help of a fork, and roast until the edges and bottom are golden crispy goodness. Are you drooling yet?
Smashed Potatoes with Walnut Romesco
for the romesco
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 roasted red bell pepper (from a jar)
- 2 tbl fresh parsley
- 1 tbl sherry vinegar
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 - 3 tbl olive oil
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
for the potatoes
- 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, washed
- 2 - 3 tbl olive oil
- salt and pepper
Place potatoes in the bottom of a large pot. Fill with water and set on the stove over high heat to bring to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, combine all of the romesco sauce ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.
Once the water is boiling, cook the potatoes, uncovered for 8 - 12 minutes, or until tender and a fork can slide easily in and out of the potato. Drain, and set aside for a few minutes to slightly cool.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Drizzle two large baking sheets with a little of the olive oil. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet and crush with heel of your hand or with a fork. Drizzle with more olive oil on top, and season generously with salt and pepper.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Serve immediately with romesco sauce.