Let us introduce this romesco dip, one of our most-requested dips of all time! Inspired by the classic Spanish sauce known as romesco, this Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Dip Recipe’s only problem is how fast it gets eaten.
Like any respectable spread, you quickly find yourself (and, let’s be honest, I’m speaking from first-hand experience here) using it any and everywhere. As in, use this romesco dip to amp up your morning avocado toast, slather it on turkey sandwiches, serve it with roasts like spatchcocked chicken, toss it with pasta, use it for scrambled eggs, or as a very much welcome addition to your next grilled cheese.
What Is Romesco Sauce?
Before we go much further, we should say what this is not. Spain’s ubiquitous Romesco sauce inspires this romesco dip, but it is not an authentic recipe and is in no way supposed to be actual romesco sauce.
Romesco is a sauce that comes from Spain’s Southeast Catalonia region though it often appears on tapas menus across the country. You’ll find variations on the recipe, but the most common base is a combination of roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, nuts, olive oil, and a local nyora pepper. This all gets mixed by hand in a mortar and pestle for a rustic puree whose texture is not unlike a classic pesto sauce.
The result is a sauce that is a bit smoky, tangy, sweet, and totally delicious. It was traditionally served with fish but went with all the things. This recipe is an excellent place to start if you want to make the from-scratch classic romesco sauce.
What Is Romesco Dip?
We gotta sauce for all the “classic” and “authentic” references we just made: romesco dip is not a dish you will find in Spain. Sure, you’ll see romesco sauce used in myriad ways, but it’s not sold as a dip like hummus here in the States.
This dip came about because we were traveling in Spain and found ourselves eating the Romesco sauce right off the spoon and wishing we had more. And because we wanted it on everything from crusty bread to crudites aka cut-up veggies.
Why Make Romesco Dip?
The reason we make this romesco dip on the regular? Well, it’s super easy and quick to make but also you can make it with pantry staples, and it’s vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Of course, it isn’t totally allergen-free, as it still has nuts!
How To Make This Dip
Because the nyora pepper is hard to find stateside, we use roasted red bell peppers in this recipe instead. After years of using roasted tomatoes and tomato paste, we nixed them because they make it a bit watery.
So the ingredients are a lot of pantry staples, including extra-virgin olive oil, red wine or sherry vinegar, roasted red bell peppers, almonds, smoked paprika, garlic, and parsley. And, if you have garlic confit or slow-roasted garlic garlic on hand, add it instead of the raw garlic to enhance the flavor.
A note about how to blend this dip. If you prefer it with a chunky texture, go ahead and pulse it in the food processor until all the ingredients are broken down. Or, if you have a high-performance blender, you can make it uber-smooth. Either way, it’s delicious so you do you!
What To Serve With This Dip
This dip can be made up to 4 days ahead, so you can make it ahead for a party or keep it in your fridge for a healthy, plant-based snack.
Suppose you’re looking to make more of a meal. In that case, this will go great along with a meal starting with these Falafel Wraps, as part of a cocktail party spread along with these Zucchini, Avocado, and Olive Crostini. or with these Mini Chicken Shawarma.
Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Dip Recipe
- 1 (15-ounce) jar roasted bell peppers juices drained
- 6 ounces blanched almonds (about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley (with tender stems - about 1/2 ounce)
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Make The Romesco Dip: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. You may need to use a tamper or stop the food processor or blender and scrape down the sides a few times to make sure iit all gets evenly processed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve drizzled with olive nada with cut-up raw vegetables or your favorite crackers for dipping.TIP: Makes about 2 cups of dip — can be made up to three days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.