Writing Monday's post got me reminiscing about my favorite foodie experiences. I'm not gonna lie, going through old pictures and picking out the eight I featured took me much longer than it should have.
I stumbled upon pictures of my first trip with Scott, a week in San Diego and LA a few years before we got engaged. That trip probably sealed the deal for us, because goodness knows I couldn't marry a man who wasn't fun to travel with. The pictures reminded me of this incredible recipe, hanging out on my camera's memory card. It was inspired by our second favorite meal of that trip, which was only second because the first place prize has to go to Spago, where we met Wolfgang Puck, sat next to Jenna Fisher, spotted Janet Jackson, and I got to eat lots of smoked salmon. So yeah, clear winner).
Although there were no celebrity sightings, our meal at Cafe Sevilla in San Diego was just as memorable. After spending the day exploring Point Loma and the Mission District, we stumbled upon this authentic tapas restaurant. Over a pitcher of sangria, we savored seafood paella with a perfect crust, croquettes, ceviche and the highlight, patatas bravas, crispy roasted fingerling potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce. Social etiquette was the only thing that kept us from linking the bowl!
A few months ago, I decided to recreate the dish for the hubs after he came back from a long business trip. While scanning the internet for recipes, I decided on romesco sauce instead of the traditional spicy tomato sauce. Then I decided to completely butcher every recipe I found for authentic romesco and add crazy ingredients like red onion and harissa. This dish is a total blasphemy. But a delicious blasphemy, so there.
This sauce was so tasty and versatile, I regretted not making more. The recipe makes about 1-2 extra servings or sauce, but you may want to double it up, because once you taste it, you'll think of all sorts of different uses for it. Use it as a dip for raw crudites, toss it with whole grain pasta, stir it into scrambled eggs, spread it on a sandwich, stuff it in a baked sweet potato, serve it with crostini, scoop it into grilled zucchini boats, serve it with poached shrimp instead of cocktail sauce...did I mention it was versatile?
I served mine with braised kale and a fried egg, a winning combination if you ask me. I loved the bitter kale with the sweet red pepper sauce and crispy creamy roasted potatoes. And a fried egg made it dinner.
- 1 large tomato, cut into 8 wedges
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thick slices
- 1/2 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 tablespoon balsamic
- 1 teaspoon [url href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NO943C/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000NO943C&linkCode=as2&tag=anavada-20&linkId=GNTTYGOMMO2TVFBJ" rel="nofollow"]smoked paprika[/url]
- 1-2 tablespoons[url href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009QMEX0G/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B009QMEX0G&linkCode=as2&tag=anavada-20&linkId=26D7CQ5AIP62JWZN" rel="nofollow"] harissa[/url]
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- First, roast the vegetables for the sauce. Toss together tomato, bell pepper, red onion and garlic cloves in a large bowl with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables evenly in one layer on a large baking sheet. Place on the bottom rack in the oven and roast for 30 minutes until tender and lightly caramelized. Add almonds and roast another 5 minutes.
- After putting the vegetables in the oven, toss the potatoes with olive oil and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd, and roast 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway, until crispy and browned.
- After the vegetables for the sauce have been roasted, let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the peel from the garlic. Transfer to a food processor and add balsamic, paprika, and harissa. Blend until you have a coarse puree, season with salt and pepper and add parsley. Blend again until parsley is chopped.
- Serve potatoes topped with sauce or with sauce on the side for dipping.
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