Thursday, August 18, 2011


So, first things first. Let me just share my sob story. My oven is broke. We had a temporary replacement for a while but that had to go back to it's rightful owner. So I have been without an oven for about 2 weeks now. So cooking has gone to the side and in it's place we have cooked on the grill a couple times, went out to eat lots of times and ate foods that needed no cooking (i.e. raw veggies & hummus, cereal & salads). All those are fine and dandy..but honestly, who wants to live like that. Needless to say, I am ready for a new oven to come my way...and fast.

Ok, now that i've got that off my chest, let's get on to the real reason i'm here.


There used to be this fabulous little restaurant and wine bar about 15 minutes south of where I lived called Romesco's. I loved the vibe, the decor and, of course, the food. Anytime someone wanted to eat? Let's go to Romesco's! I brought anyone who had an appetite there because I loved it so much. And as unimaginative as this may be, aside from 1 visit, I ordered the same thing everytime. Grilled vegetable panini with romesco sauce. Oh, and a peach tea :)

It was worth every visit.

Romesco sauce, by definition, is a sauce originating in Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain) that is typically made from almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive oil and nyora peppers, a smaller, sweet, dried variety of red bell pepper. Other common ingredients include roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar and onion.

And it's vegan too~something i'm trying to eat a little more of these days.

Unfortunately, the restaurant closed when it's neighbor (a furniture store) caught on fire and burned half of the building down including some of Romesco's. I prayed and prayed that they would reopen but to no avail.

I'm not sure what made me think of it as it's been closed now for about 4 years but I started craving that sandwich it was soon all I could think about.

So, here we are. Tonight's dinner. My way.

Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce

Serves 4

1 large Eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 large Zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
2 large Portabella Mushrooms, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices

Marinade (for the veggies)
3 T canola oil
2 T lemon juice
2 t dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt & cracked black pepper

Mix marinated ingredients in a large bowl. Add veggies and toss to coat. Let marinate for about 15~20 minutes stirring often. Set aside

Preheat grill. I found I needed no oil to grill my vegetables but lightly oil the grates if you'd like. Cook about 3~5 minutes per side until tender. Time will vary based on the type of grill you use.

Cheater's Romesco Sauce, makes 1 c sauce
1 roasted red pepper (jarred, in water)
1/2 c fire roasted tomatoes (from the can)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T red wine vinegar
3 T whole almonds
3 T whole hazelnuts
1 T ground flax meal Normally, bread is used to thicken. I have no bread in house so there you go.)
2 T water

Blend all ingredients in a food processor on high stopping every so often to scrape down the sides of the processor. Continue to process until it forms a smooth sauce, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste (I needed no salt~something I am trying to use less of). Refrigerate until ready to use.

This sauce was made for veggies but would be equally delicious over fish if you are so inclined. I would even go so far as to dip raw veggies in this (but i've had my fair share the last 2 weeks thank you very much).

I served mine over brown rice but obviously this would be great on a panini (Duh! Did you read the beginning of this post?) in a wrap, or even over greens. No salad dressing needed :)

Please excuse my sorry excuse of a photo. I was hungry and light was minimal thus flash was used. No bueno. I blame it on the oven.


  1. I actually don't think I've ever had Romesco Sauce before - I definitely need to try this! Also on my list of sauces I haven't tried yet: ChimiChurri.

  2. Oh my goodness that looks fantastic! I think I've only tried Romesco sauce once and it's been entirely too long. Mmm mm!

    So sorry that your oven is broken but maybe it's best to use the stove anyways since the weather is so hot down there in FL!

  3. I often use romesco sauce as a dip, with crackers and such, but I like how you used it over veg here. Sounds like it could make a very tasty side dish!

  4. @Diana @ VeggieNextDoor Romesco sauce is so good...And so easy...of course if you roast the peppers yourself it will have a stronger flavor (which I have done before)..but sometimes I like the cheater's version :D

  5. @Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food Please let me know if you try my recipe :) You're right, one benefit of a broken oven is less heat....unfortunately the stovetop was broke too :( No worries though! Got a new one and i'm back in the kitchen :)

  6. @Hannah Definitely will make this as a dip for upcoming football parties! Great idea, Hannah :)

  7. I've never had Romesco sauce but now I REALLY want to try it!

  8. @WillJogForFood Definitely try won't be sorry :)