California Cauli: Romesco Cauliflower

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As I mentioned in my Downtown LA post, the best meal I had in the area was at Blue Cow Kitchen.

The decor, fresh farm to table cuisine, location (overlooking Angel’s Flight) and staff all surpassed my expectations.

After ordering a California blonde (beer), I selected two small plates: a beet and burrata salad which was delicious, since it’s burrata, and grilled purple cauliflower with romesco.

I had never tasted romesco sauce before, but the sweet, tangy, and smokey flavor really won me over. It has a rich texture and strong flavor, making it an ideal companion for a somewhat bland vegetable like cauliflower.

I couldn’t find purple cauliflower back East (sigh), but I was able to swap it for orange cauliflower and recreated the creamy, savory romesco at home with a very simple recipe that’s naturally vegan!

Serve this sauce with roasted veggies, grilled bread, or straight up with a spoon – preferably while watching Vicky Christina Barcelona. ¡Buen provecho!


Blue Cow Roasted Cauliflower with Romesco

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1-inch thick slice of crusty bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté garlic until golden brown. Add bread cubes and almonds and stir mixture together for an additional 2 minutes.

Place the contents of the sauté pan into a blender and add the salt, tomatoes, roasted peppers, smoked paprika, and vinegar, and purée until smooth.

Spread the sauce out on a rimmed sheet pan and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges begin to caramelize. Allow to cool and scrape into a container to store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer.


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