Romesco Sauce

This romesco sauce is THE MOST delicious accompaniment to barbecued vegetables, it is our take on the special sauce used during calçot festivals in Catalonia (where barbecued large leek/scallion-like vegetables are dunked in romesco in their thousands). We make it on repeat all summer! It’s silky, nutty, savoury, sweet and smokey. Dunk freshly grilled  vegetables or bread in it or even use it as a stunning pasta sauce. Spread it into wraps or sandwiches, smear it on a plate and top with salads and grilled veg, or just eat it with a spoon! You’ll fall for this sauce hard so let us know your favourite way to eat it. 

There are as many traditional recipes as there are cooks in Catalonia and if you’re a fan of romesco you may notice bread, hazelnuts and tomatoes are missing from this one. Of course you should feel free to add them back in, but I love the undiluted, smokey roasted pepper flavour of our recipe. Use roasted or barbecued red peppers and good olive oil, or for ease, one of our new jars of organic ready roasted peppers in oil. We also sell bulk bags of organic almonds (and hazelnuts) in compostable packaging. Sherry vinegar is traditional in this Catalonian recipe, but actually, we love using the raw, organic, Irish, apple cider vinegar from Clashganny Farm in Co. Waterford instead. It’s gorgeous stuff, why not add a  bottle to your next order?  

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 190g jar of roasted peppers & the oil*
  • *OR* 2 roasted/grilled red peppers & 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of raw garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (sherry or apple cider)
  • 1 handful of roasted almonds (about 50g)
  • a pinch of salt

Method

  1. Roast the almonds in the oven until they just start to take on some colour – for about 5 minutes – or toast them in a dry pan on the hob.
  2. If you are roasting/grilling your own peppers, cook them on a high heat until the skins are blistered and the flesh is soft. Then cool and peel off as much of the blackened skin as you can, remove the stem and seeds. Otherwise just use one of our jars of grilled peppers.
  3. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend into a silky, smooth sauce. 
  4. If you like a thicker sauce, with more of a hummus-like texture, you can simply add more toasted almonds and blend again.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt, smoked paprika or vinegar.
  6. Keep the sauce in a jar in the fridge and use within a week.

Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a delicious one-pot rice dish from Louisiana, a cultural melting pot with French, Caribbean and African influences. It’s a little like a paella but some of the ingredients and seasonings are different. Rather than saffron, the main flavours are cayenne pepper and thyme with smokiness from the sausages and smoked paprika.

We just added these new vegan smoked sausages to our shop so I just had to try them in a jambalaya and they work perfectly! Head to our shop and add them to your next fruit and veg order to give them a try. Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 2 peppers (any colour of a mix)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 packs of smoked sausages (or substitute with mushrooms and red beans plus some extra smoked paprika)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 heaped tsp smoked paprika (plus extra)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 tsp dried thyme (or fresh is even better)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 mug basmati rice
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (or 4 chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 limes
watch how it’s made here or read on below

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 200C and find an oven and hob safe pan with a lid. Alternatively you could use a baking dish and some tin foil or a baking sheet. Instead of sautéing on the hob, the base ingredients can be roasted in the oven.

Start by dicing your onion, celery and peppers and sautéing them with the olive oil until just starting to soften.

Then chop the garlic and add it to the pan.

Cut the smoked sausages into bite size pieces and add them to the pan too. Then sauté everything together, stirring often, to seal the ingredients and so they start to caramelise and take on some colour. This takes about 10 minutes.

Add the herbs and spices to the pan and season with salt and pepper – stir to combine.

Rinse the mug of basmati rice and add it to the pan along with the tin of chopped tomatoes. Add two tins of water then stir to evenly disperse all the ingredients. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or spices.

Put the lid on the pot and let it come up to a gentle boil. As soon as it is hot and bubbling, move the pan into the oven, lid on, so that the rice can bake and absorb all the liquid. This should take about 20 minutes for white rice.

Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, remove the lid and you can serve it as it is or return it to the oven for a further 5 minutes with wedges of lime, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. This creates a delicious crust on the rice and lightly charrs the lime wedges, making them sweet and extra juicy.

Serve with the roasted lime wedges to squeeze over the rice and a simple green salad. Enjoy!

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a stunning dish of eggs coddled in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce. It originated in Tunisia and is extremely popular in the Middle East, in fact it’s considered a national dish of Israel. It’s served with strained natural yoghurt and you eat it by scooping it up with torn pieces of bread. It’s so delicious, the sharp, tangy, spicy sauce is perfectly offset by the rich, creamy egg and yoghurt and since going plant based, it’s a brunch option I have really missed.

So I made a vegan version of it this morning. I replaced the savoury, creamy, rich eggs and yoghurt with a cashew sauce and oh my, it works! Same satisfying scoopability, same rich-meets-sharp, soothing-meets-spicy deliciousness. It’s simple to make too! You just need a blender for the cashew cream and a frying pan for the sauce.

Liz x

Did you make this recipe? Let us know in the comments how it went and don’t forget to share it with your friends and tag us on Instagram or show us your version in our friendly Facebook group. We love to see our recipes leave the blog!

Ingredients (serves 4)

Method

Sauté sliced onion and pepper with a pinch of salt and a tbsp of olive oil until softening and starting to take on some colour.

Add the sliced garlic and whole spices and sauté until fragrant. Then add the chilli flakes and rose petals.

Tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes and swirl out the tomatoey juices from the tin into the pan with half a tin of water. Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer until thickened and rich for about 10 minutes and then serve with swirls of cashew cream and toasted bread or flatbreads.

Cashew Cream Ingredients

Method

Put all the ingredients into a blender and then add enough water to partially cover the nuts. Blend until smooth then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.