Roasted red pepper with tongs

Calçots amb salsa de romesco

It’s been a wild few weeks of engaging artistic work and my path2wellness posts just didn’t/couldn’t  happen. I didn’t want to allow my blog to become a source of stress! That is one of my main problems with GERD; my worry level is genetically imprinted through generations of amazing women who did too much and then worried about it. So, I let it go. Today I have a fun post about romesco sauce and one that brings back so many wonderful memories.

One day in the mid 1980′s, Juan Antonio picked me up in Barcelona and we drove south in the direction of Tarragona. We landed somewhere in the country where there were lots of people and lots of flat grills full of young “spring” onions. We ate these grilled onions with a romesco sauce made with roasted red peppers, almonds, hazelnuts, olive oil, toasted bread and sherry vinegar.

Roasting onions 1


Look carefully. The man in the lower left corner is the famous Catalan clown Gensiclown Fulgenci Mestres Bertran! Celebrity sighting!

These onions are a specialty in the Valls region of Spain from the species Allium cepa. Colçots are cultivated like asparagus. The white part is covered with soil so that they keep white and tender. Once harvested, they are roasted over vine wood fires.

The traditional way to cook calçots is to grill them until they are well roasted, almost burnt and then wrap them in newspaper until it’s time to eat. Colçots are a spring specialty act eaten February to April.

Roasting onions 2

Check out the burn on those colçots! They are really “quemada”! Most often, you see the sauce salvitxada served with colçots. But I do know we ate them with romesco sauce that day long ago because it began my love affair with romesco sauce. I had never had anything like this flavor profile and I became obsessed with the sauce.

The difference between salvitxada and romesco sauce are many but the main difference in ingredients is the addition of peppers and toasted bread to romesco.

As you know being GERD sufferers (or maybe you aren’t suffering anymore like me! YAY!) is our problem with tomatoes. Tomatoes top our no-fly list and the red pepper quickly becomes our color substitute in salads and many raw recipes. Even now with no GERD symptoms, I do not eat tomatoes because they quickly turn into a GERD problem for me. So, I came up with a modified romesco sauce for us.

Here is the traditional recipe. Like curry, there are several recipes for romesco sauce www-available .

10-12 blanched almonds

short 1/3 c. of hazelnuts

1 head of roasted garlic

2 medium tomato or one large tomato, roasted

2 large peppers, roasted

1 slice of day old bread, pan toasted in EVOO

1 c. EVOO

1/2 c. vinegar

Put everything in the food processor except EEVO and vinegar and process. Add oil slowly and vinegar at the end. I refuse to say YUM because it is over-used but may I say…… delectable???

Here is my modified recipe

All the recipes are in three stages of the diet plan

First stage: The beginning, healing diet indicated with an “H

Second stage: A maintenance diet when the inflammation is gone and you are moving into a gluten and dairy free diet indicated by an “M

Third stage: Paleo indicated by a “P

Romesco Sauce


2 roasted red peppers

1/2 c. of slivered almonds

2/3 c. of good quality olive oil

1/2 c. of sherry vinegar

1 head of garlic

Optional 1/4 tsp. pimenton

Romanesco sauce ingredients

Set oven to 300 degrees. Rub excess “paper” from garlic head. Put in an oven safe dish, pour a little olive oil over it and roast for 20-25″ or until it is done. (I test a clove of garlic by squeezing and seeing if it is soft). Toast the almonds in a sauté pan until barely turning brown. Take off heat immediately! They burn very easily. Put the almonds in your blender, Vitamix or food processor. Obliterate the almonds then add the roast peppers and however much roasted garlic you want. Add the olive oil in a stream and the sherry vinegar last. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and a little pimenton. Depending on how big the peppers are, I finesse the amount of olive oil and vinegar to make a smooth, rich sauce.

Now here is the important part: put this on everything! I cannot eat colçots anymore because I need to watch onions and garlic in any semi-raw form. I also unfortunately don’t live in Barcelona anymore, so no colçots for me in the near future! But romesco sauce is wonderful on fish, vegetables, roast chicken and I even saw my daughter put it on fish tacos once. This is a great way for us to have a “red sauce” that is easy on the stomach.

So, tonight, try romesco sauce on some roasted cod. Roast the filets for  20″ in the oven at 400 degrees with a little olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. You will love it.


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