Recipe by Amerae Vercueil
Instagram: @ameraevercueil
Instagram: @food.thatlovesyouback
Website: Food that loves you back

makes 2 cups • gluten-free • sugar-free • vegan • ready in 20 minutes

Romesco sauce is a staple in my home. It is great with grilled or braaied meat, as a dipping sauce with tapas, or spread onto sandwiches. I like to include caramelized onions, which add sweetness and bulk while limiting the amount of oil.


1 onion, finely chopped
1–2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup almonds or cashews, see Note
2 red peppers
1 handful fresh parsley
1 tsp pink salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ sultana’s

Serve with:

400g ready-cooked meatballs
Cayenne pepper or chilli powder, to taste


Start with the red peppers, place them over a flame or in the oven with the grill setting on for 2-3 minutes on each side. Allow to steam in a ziplock bag for 10 minutes. Remove the skins and seeds and place in a food processor.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over low heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to fry for another 3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Set aside to cool.

Spread the almonds or cashews on a lined baking sheet. Place in a preheated oven at 180°C and toast for 5 minutes, until golden brown, taking care that they don’t burn. Set aside to cool.

Place the onion-garlic mixture, toasted almonds, marinated red peppers, parsley, salt and pepper, paprika and raisins in a food processor. Blend until smooth, then taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.


Almonds are traditional, but you can substitute them with unsalted cashews, walnuts, or sunflower seeds. If you don’t have blanched (skinned) whole almonds, use raw almonds or flaked almonds. (Take care when toasting flaked almonds, as they can burn easily.)

Don’t have a food processor? Use a hand-held blender instead, or finely chop the ingredients and use a fork to mash together to a smooth or chunky paste.

Spoon the sauce into a jar and pour over a thin layer of olive oil; it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or place in an airtight container and freeze.