This shortcut version of the classic Spanish romesco sauce—a combination of tomatoes, red peppers, bread, and almonds—is an easy, quick appetizer to prepare for cocktail parties. Its flavors pair well with anything from vegetable crudités to grilled chicken breasts and pasta, but here we’ve opted to serve it with simple oven-roasted shrimp.
Game plan: The romesco can be made up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated in a covered container.
- 1Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- 2Arrange the tomato, garlic, bread, and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until the bread and almonds are lightly toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- 3Transfer the roasted ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse to coarsely chop. (Wipe off the baking sheet with a paper towel and set it aside to cool.) Add the roasted red peppers, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and paprika and pulse again until well combined and relatively smooth. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside.
For the shrimp:
- 1Combine the shrimp and oil in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss until evenly coated. Place the shrimp on the cooled baking sheet in an even layer and roast until opaque and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- 2Serve the roasted shrimp with the sauce.
Beverage pairing: Can Ràfols dels Caus “Gran Caus” Blanco Penedès, Spain. Romesco is a Catalan sauce, so why not keep the wine regional with a blend of white grapes from the area? These grapes are predominantly used in the production of cava, Spanish sparkling wine, but this Gran Caus is a still white, and its heft will be able to support the concentrated, dense romesco. But its light acid and notes of mineral, melon, and citrus make it a great match with the shrimp, too.