Romesco sauce is not a dirty word… but it damn well should be! If you asked me, I would not be able to say enough good things about it. I would feel as if I were robbing it from it’s rightful glory. Whatever… My mate Richy liked it too.

It may seem like there is a lot going on in this dish but it’s not that bad because it’s all on the BBQ. And it pays homage to a few of my favorite things – whiskers on kittens and… Nope… Wrong favorite things. Good free-range chicken (from Mt Barker in this case), fried onion in a pilaf, eating and drinking with an old friend, an inner city backyard herb garden and romesco sauce… It’s actually mostly for the romesco sauce.

Richy and Bronia have a garden to be proud of (Actually I think Bronia did the hard work and Richy came in and adopted it like a small African child). A suburban garden of Eden if you will. And when my old mate Richy greeted me wearing nothing but a leaf of some description, I was ready to take the sacred apple from his serpent… Hmmm… I don’t think this was the picture I was trying to paint. No. The garden! Where you might normally see flowers, the odd bottle brush and a ceramic bird bath with a cupid doing a cheeky wee, they had fruit trees and herbs galore. A true testament to new age suburban living. Effing hippies…

That night we feasted on free-range chicken bbq’d on lemon leaves and rosemary, onion & spinach ‘pilaf’, green olive, coriander & almond salsa, romesco sauce

For the chicken

I took a whole chook, butterflied it (cut it in half if that makes more sense to you), seasoned the shit out of it and roasted atop of the bed of lemon and rosemary leaves it was resting on. Its good if you have a bbq with a lid for this sort of shit.

For the ‘pilaf’

Bronia cooked some rice in their trusty rice cooker, when it was done I added some fried onion from the bbq, a heap of baby spinach and some seasoning. It tasted like yum.

Green olive, almond and coriander salsa

Toast some almonds on the bbq (while you’re at it, do some extra for the romesco), chop into 3-4 pieces each so they have a bit of crunch, chop some green olives and coriander, and mix it all together with a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

before 'the blitz'

Romesco sauce

4 red capsicum

6 ripe tomatoes

1-2 long red or green chillies

½ bulb garlic

1 cup almonds

2 tbls sherry or red wine vinegar

seasoning

extra virgin olive oil

  • Char grill the capsicum, chilli and tomatoes until starting to blister. Peel if you are not too drunk
  • Roast the bulb of garlic in its skin until it starts to soften. Cool slightly and push the cloves from their vampire expelling foreskin
  • Roast the almonds too… if you didn’t do them when you were making the salsa
  • Combine all ingredients, except oil, and blitz or pulverize into a paste
  • Slowly emulsify oil into said paste
  • Bask in the glory that is romesco sauce