Many years ago, my husband and I first tried Romesco sauce while on vacation in Barcelona. It was served with grilled ramps. We were instant fans! Using jarred fire-roasted red peppers as a shortcut is an absolute genius way to create it. I served the meatballs and sauce in this dish with slices of sourdough baguette to sop up every last drop. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sara Frost. I modified the proportions. The original recipe notes that the delicious sauce can add richness to other lean proteins such as fish, pan-roasted chicken breast and can also be used as a dip for vegetables. Next time, I may serve this dish with grilled scallions. Yum.
My son ate the leftover meatballs and baguette as a luxurious sandwich with melted cheese, topped with Romesco sauce, of course. This dish could also be served as a fabulous appetizer.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 1 3/4 lbs ground turkey
- 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
- 1/2 cup panko
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 4 to 6 T finely chopped parsley, plus more coarsely chopped for serving
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 T plus 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds (I used toasted sliced almonds)
- 1 12 to 16-oz jar fire-roasted peppers in water, drained (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 2 to 4 small garlic cloves, crushed (I used a garlic press)
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- finely grated zest of half of a lemon
- crusty bread, for serving, optional (I served it with a sourdough baguette)
- Preheat oven to 425°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
- Using your hands, mix ground turkey, eggs, panko, cumin, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl.
- Working one at a time, use a 1 1/2-inch scoop out to ration out the mixture. (I had 28 meatballs.) Place on a plate.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. (I used a large stainless steel “all-in-one” pan.)
- Working in 2 batches, cook meatballs until golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer skillet with all of the meatballs to oven and bake until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, pulse almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Pulse drained fire-roasted peppers, garlic, vinegar, and cayenne in food processor until almost smooth.
- Transfer to bowl with almonds and stir in remaining 1/2 cup oil; season Romesco sauce with salt, to taste.
- Spoon romesco sauce onto a platter or into shallow bowls; arrange meatballs on top.
- Finely grate lemon zest over and scatter coarsely chopped parsley on top. Serve with crusty bread, as desired.