I love cooking with Autumn ingredients and no ingredient says Fall quite as much as the squash. After spending years and years cooking in Spain, I have completely and hopelessly fallen in love with romesco sauce. It’s one of the oldest sauces in Spain, it’s origins date all the way back to Roman times.
Over the past two millennia, it’s evolved to integrate New-World ingredients like peppers and tomatoes. The traditional preparation involves charring peppers, onions, garlic, and tomatoes and working them together in a mortar and pestle with toasted nuts and toasted bread. I’m not a gluten guy, so I started playing around with adding different types of nuts and adding in other vegetables to the sauce.
This is one of my favorite ways of making it and, adding in some butternut squash gives the sauce a little more flavor and body. I love serving it with gently roasted delicata squash. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can make some pickled squash ribbons to garnish!
Roasted delicata squash, hazelnut and butternut squash romesco
Size: Serves 2 to 4
- 2 delicata squash, cut into half-inch-thick, seeds removed with a small pastry cutter
- Salt, pepper, thyme, bay leave, Aleppo pepper
- Good, cold-pressed Hojiblanca or Arbequina olive oil and fresh lemon juice and zest
- Soft herb salad to garnish (dill, chives, basil, tarragon, chervil, etc.)
- Combine all ingredients and roast in oven at 375°F until tender and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
For the Romesco
- 3 red bell peppers
- 1 small to medium butternut squash (~454g), cut in half, seeds removed
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 head garlic
- ½ cup marcona almonds
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup pepitas
- 1 TBSP espelette pepper
- 1 TBSP pimenton
- 2 TBSP Sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup good, cold-pressed Hojiblanca or Arbequina olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 450° F, toss the peppers, tomatoes, onions, squash (skin side up), and whole head of garlic in olive oil and roast until very dark, about 45 minutes. Remove, cool, and skin and peel. Scrape the squash out of the skin and discard the skin. Set aside.
Alternatively, you can char all vegetables on a woodfired grill until very dark and cooked all the way through.
In a pan with olive oil, toast the nuts. Set aside.
In the Vitamix, process all ingredients, working up to top speed until relatively smooth, then reduce to slow speed and drizzle in olive oil at the end to incorporate.
To serve, plate romesco on the bottom of the plate, arrange roasted delicata squash, and finish with fresh herbs salad.