Spain, over the years, has become a mecca for young cooks in North America. When kitchen life becomes mundane, kids go skipping to the airport with a brightly coloured headband on and a ticket to Barcelona in hand. Fast forward three months and they are back here with a contract to open a hip new tapas restaurant in a low income neighbourhood. But, what is it that creates this cycle of madness? Is it in the water? The wine? Perhaps it’s the brand new Branca Studio t-shirt they are sporting. Whatever the reason, the culture that is driven by food has completely rewired their visitors brain and turns them into eating and drinking gurus.
There are a few theories on the origin of the Spanish tapas. From inn keepers curbing drunken behaviour by giving a slice of meat on bread with a drink, or small plate atop a wine glass to keep the beach sand out, all the way to a King making a recovery from illness by eating small meals with wine. Regardless of where this small dish culture came from, however, what is true is that tapas are the cogs of the Spanish food machine. And the result is the world being introduced to an amazing roster of dishes, including the tasty little sauce known as romesco.
If ya do it right, your “Redrum Romesco with Grilled Asparagus” will have you wanting more.
Hailing from Catalonia, it was once eaten by fishermen with whatever they had pulled out of the sea that day. Always a roasted pepper base, tomato and vinegar are usually added to introduce an acidic note along with a smoky flavour from paprika. It’s a beautiful dish that utilizes the fresh local ingredients from Spain’s microclimates and over the years has been adopted by other Spanish regions bringing in different influences.
What I’ve brought to you today is my version of a dish that is typically grilled spring onions served with romesco. Being here in Canada, spring onions are of a different variety, so I have substituted it with grilled asparagus Same flavor? No! But I do what I want, and I feel the earthy and woody flavour notes of the asparagus is a perfect playdate partner for romesco. And, in early summer, Ontario provides a beautiful crop of asparagus that makes a perfect side dish to your cookout. So, before winter creeps in, get outside, get on the grill and get cooking!
To Asparagus or not to Asparagus? Who cares! Just stream our playlist!
-1 Roma Tomato
-1 Red Pepper
-3 Cloves Garloc
-¼ Cup Slivered Almonds
-¼ Cup CannaOil
-2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
-1 Tbsp Paprika
-1 Bunch Asparagus
-Slivered Almonds for Garnish
– Jack Herer. The ‘90s baby that hails from Amsterdam, this sativa dominant strain once set the bar for standards in the growing industry. Appropriately named after the late marijuana activist, the wood flavour undertones mask well with this asparagus dish. Get more information via Leafly.com here.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Place tomato and red pepper on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes. With 15 minutes remaining, add garlic to the pan and continue to roast.
Step 3:While your vegetables are roasting, turn your grill to high.
Step 4: Remove vegetables from oven and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, remove skin of pepper, cut in half, and remove seeds.
Step 5: In a blender, add the roasted pepper, tomato, vinegar, CannaOil, almonds, and paprika and blend until smooth. It should have the consistency of thick tomato sauce, if you feel it needs to he thinned out, carefully add more oil.
Step 6: With your hot grill, toss your asparagus in oil, salt, and pepper, before placing and grill. Turn every minute and cook until tender. About 3 minutes.
Step 7:Serve grilled asparagus immediately with Romesco sauce on top and garnished with slivered almonds.
“Jeepster”, this is a darn good T.Rex song!
Suggested Baker’s Dozen “Top Notch HAMBJRGER” Playlist:
01. Steely Dan – “Do it Again”
02. T-Rex – “Jeepster”
03. Bison – “Die of Devotion”
04. R.I.P. – “Mother Road”
05. Black Sabbath – “Megalomania “
06. The Cramps – “Like a Bad Girl Should”
07. Atomic Rooster – “All in Satan’s Name”
08. Ball – “Fyre Balls”
09. Mountain – “Mississipppi Queen”
10. Salem’s Pot – “Coal Mind”
11. Spelljammer – “Witcher”
12. Melvins – “Night Goat”
13. Iron Maiden – “Prowler”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
– Danny P. is a Toronto, Canada-based chef with a love for music, food and baking (both kinds). He may be stuck in the ‘70s, but he is definitely not stuck in his ways. In this series Dan will bring you some of his favourite recipes for absolutely tasty bake-worthy goods. If you have any comments, suggestions or other inquiries, hit him up on Instagram at @bakersdozenrocks.
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