Sauces make most everything taste better. It’s true that some foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits really don’t need anything extra, but sometimes condiments make the flavors pop. These roasted potatoes are a good example of a snack that is enhanced by a flavorful take on the classic Catalan romesco sauce. This sauce would also be excellent on grilled fish and if diluted with olive oil, it can make one heck of a dip for bread. I know because I’ve done this before, many times. The only danger is you could possibly devour the entire loaf of bread because the romesco is that good. The mix of sweet potatoes, purple and russet potatoes give a nice variation of flavors and keep things interesting. My favorite was the sweet potato because it was complimentary to the sweetness of the predominant flavor of bell pepper.
Romesco Sauce (variation of the classic):
yield: 2 1/2 cups
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1 russet potato
1 purple potato
1 sweet potato
grapeseed oil (enough to coat potatoes)
salt to taste
Fresh oregano for garnish, rough chopped
2 guajillo peppers
5 roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T sherry vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
Slice potatoes thin, approximately 1/8″ thick. Place in a large mixing bowl and add just enough grapeseed oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Place potatoes in a single layer on a parchment lined sheetpan and bake for 30 minutes, turning potatoes over half way through. Turn oven off and let potatoes sit for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
In a dry pan or comal, heat the guajillo peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion, bell pepper, almonds until each is blackened but not burnt. For the almonds, just toast to golden, do not blacken. Remove from the pan as they are done, each ingredient will blacken at a different rate. Place the bell peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sweat for 15- 20 minutes. Peel off the skin and set aside.
Place the chiles, blackened vegetables, almonds, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Serve with roasted potato rounds.