At my April 10 cooking class at the Davis Food Co-op I’ll be teaching how to make Tapas Vegetarianas Espanolas (Vegetarian Spanish Tapas). Tapas are a great change-up for a weeknight dinner or a fabulous focus for a dinner or cocktail party. Grilled vegetables with romesco sauce is one of my favorites because it is such a flexible tapa that you can grill whatever vegetables are in season. Here I used carrots, onions, peppers and potatoes. Other perfect in-season choices might be asparagus, leeks, beets, broccoli and cauliflower.
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Time: 35 minutes active; 45 minutes total
For the romesco sauce:
1 small red pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
¼ cup blanched whole unsalted almonds
½ cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoon sherry
1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
For the grilled vegetables (you can use virtually any mix of in-season vegetables):
1 large carrot, sliced on the bias
1 green pepper, sliced
1 large onion, quartered
4 small potatoes, cut into 1/4″ slices
For the romesco sauce:
1. Roast pepper in broiler, on a grill or in a grill pan coated with cooking spray until all sides are charred. Set pepper aside to let cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add almonds and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer off heat and let cool. Do the same with the bread crumbs in the same skillet and also transfer to another bowl. Add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, if needed.
3. Add another 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Cut red pepper into thick strips and add to the pan with garlic. Cook about 5 minutes until garlic is softened. Add the tomatoes and cook 1 minute longer.
4. Transfer all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until emulsified. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, sherry, salt and pepper, until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
For grilled vegetables:
1. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly brush vegetables with cooking spray or olive oil. When the grill surface begins smoking, grill vegetables until charred on both sides, carefully turning with tongs.
2. Serve vegetables with the romesco sauce!
Writer Bio: Adrienne Capps loves food and is a vegetarian—she doesn’t believe these things are mutually exclusive. A vegetarian for the past nine years, Capps created Vegetarianized.com as a way to share her passion for eating, drinking, and cooking—and to make vegetarianism more accessible. The blog transforms meat dishes into vegetarian or improves vegetarian recipes and puts the results up in a weekly post called the Sunday Serving on the blog and at the Facebook Group Vegetarianized. Capps is also a food writer, teaches cooking classes in Davis and is an amateur caterer. Upcoming cooking classes and recent food articles are found on the blog home page.