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Recipe for romesco sauce

Makes 2 cups

1dried ancho or other mild chili pepper, stemmed and seeded
1cup boiling water
1small red bell pepper
4tablespoons olive oil
½cup whole blanched almonds
4cloves garlic, sliced
½teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1can (15 ounces) whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
1tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. In a bowl, combine the dried chili and water. Set aside for 15 minutes or until softened. Drain and chop.

2. Meanwhile, with tongs or a large kitchen fork, hold the bell pepper over a gas flame, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the skin blackens. Or broil the pepper, turning often, for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer
to a bowl and cover; cool. Peel off and discard the skin. Halve, stem, and seed the pepper. Cut into 1-inch
pieces.

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3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until lightly golden. Reduce the heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, chili pepper, and bell pepper. Turn up the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat; cool.

4. In a food processor, work the tomato mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper until the mixture is a coarse puree. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Reserve ¼ cup of the romesco sauce for the salad. Lisa Zwirn

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