When the weather starts to warm up, I like preparing dishes that don’t require a lot of cooking time over a hot stove. Romesco sauce is one of my favorite no-cook sauces to make and a staple in my household. It’s a classic Spanish sauce made by pureeing almonds, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, vinegar and seasonings.
Romesco sauce is very easy to make and requires no cooking. Simply puree all of the ingredients together in a blender and you’re done. It's also very nutritious. It’s made with almonds and olive oil, which are packed with heart healthy unsaturated fats. Nuts are also a great source of protein and fiber and contain several other nutrients that have beneficial effects on heart health including Vitamin E, plant sterols, selenium and L-arginine. The sauce gets a nice smoky flavor from roasted red peppers and Spanish smoked paprika. Spanish sherry vinegar adds brightness and acidity to the sauce and a small amount of bread helps to thicken it.
It’s delicious served on top of grilled fish but it’s equally suitable for grilled steak, chicken or vegetables. I used wild Alaskan black cod in this dish, which has a delicate texture and buttery flavor. It’s a lean fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, even more than the amount found in salmon. If you can’t find it, you can substitute pretty much any type of fish that you like. I also served the fish with a mixture of quinoa and brown rice along with baby arugula to round out the meal. If you make the Romesco sauce, you may want to double the recipe and keep the leftovers in the fridge. I promise it won’t go to waste!
Pan Roasted Black Cod with Romesco Sauce
Makes 4 servings
½ tablespoon olive oil
4 black cod fillets (4 ounces), skin removed
Salt and pepper
4.5 ounces (3/4 cup) jarred roasted red peppers, drained
½ small tomato, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 large clove garlic
2 teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
½ ounce bread, crust cut off
Salt and pepper
To make the Romesco sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, season the fish with salt and pepper and add the pieces (presentation side down) to the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown, then carefully flip the fish over and cook another 3-4 minutes until it is just cooked through.
Serve the cod with a dollop of Romesco sauce on top. Serve extra sauce on the side.
One serving: Cod with 1/4 of Romesco sauce: Calories 341; Fat 27.6g (Sat 4.7g); Protein 17.9g; Carb 4.6g; Fiber 1.1g