With the right seasoning, even a virtuous chicken breast or handful of raw vegetables becomes something to savor. Enter romesco: "I'm obsessed with it,” says Erin Alderson, the -Sacramento-based author of the vegetarian cooking blog Naturally Ella (naturallyella.com, @naturallyella), as well as the cookbook The Easy -Vegetarian Kitchen. She uses the bold, smoky sauce on grain bowls, crudités, and anything else that needs some oomph.
1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup canned tomato purée
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
How to Make It
Toast sunflower seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat, shaking often, until fragrant and lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. In a food processor, whirl the remaining ingredients together until fairly smooth. Season to taste with more salt if you like.
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