Grilled Vegetables with Romesco 3 Ways

Cook, Ingredient Spotlight, Recipe Roundup

Peppery, nutty romesco sauce is the ultimate summer condiment, adding zesty Spanish flavor to seafood, meat and vegetables. For a unique starter or side dish at your next cookout, serve the versatile sauce alongside an assortment of grilled vegetables.

 

Bonus: romesco sauce will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, so make a double batch to store — you won’t be sorry.

 

Romesco Sauce

 

1 plum tomato

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup Marcona almonds

1 cup jarred roasted piquillo peppers, drained

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1 slice day-old bread

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and ground pepper

Grilled vegetables of choice (below)

 

In a food processor, combine tomato, garlic, almonds, piquillo peppers, vinegar and bread and process until a rough paste forms, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, then, with the motor running, gradually add olive oil until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer sauce to a bowl and serve with grilled vegetables. Serves 4.

 

Grilled Leeks

 

16 young leeks, each about 1/2 inch thick

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing

Sea salt and ground pepper

Romesco sauce (above) for serving

 

Using a paring knife, trim off root ends of leeks. Cut off tough green leaves and remove outermost layer of each leek. Make a 1-inch slit on both sides of each leek, cutting down to where white part of leek starts. In a large bowl of cold water, wash leeks thoroughly. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and blanch leeks for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

 

Preheat a grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high and oil lightly. Brush leeks with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill leeks, turning them with tongs every 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and nicely charred, about 8 minutes total. Place leeks on a platter and serve with romesco sauce.

 

Grilled Escarole and Radicchio

 

1 head escarole

2 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and ground pepper

2 heads radicchio

Romesco sauce (above) for serving

 

Split escarole lengthwise into quarters and pat dry. Scatter with half of thyme, drizzle with olive oil and half of lemon juice and season generously with salt and pepper.

 

Cut radicchio lengthwise into quarters, being sure to keep some of stem attached to each quarter. Top quarters with remaining thyme, olive oil and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

 

Preheat a grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high and oil lightly. Grill escarole until slightly wilted and charred on edges, about 5 minutes per side. Set aside. Grill radicchio until slightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes total. Place on a serving platter, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with romesco sauce.

 

Grilled Summer Vegetables

 

6 yellow summer squash, zucchini, or a mixture (about 3 lb. total), halved lengthwise

Sea salt and ground pepper

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

4 small eggplants, thickly sliced lengthwise

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Romesco sauce (above) for serving

 

Preheat a grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high and oil lightly. Toss squash with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Brush eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

 

Grill squash, turning once, until grill marks appear, about 6 minutes total (cover if using a gas grill). Move to an area with no coals underneath and grill, covered, until tender, about 4 minutes more. Grill eggplants, turning once and brushing with more oil if they look dry, until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes (cover if using a gas grill).

 

Transfer squash to a platter and drizzle with lemon juice. Arrange eggplants alongside. Serve with romesco sauce.

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