‘Don’t waste the bread’ recipe series: Grilled vegetables with Romesco bread Sauce

Foodie Weekender by Bronte Hogarth

Stale bread is a given in most households; even the most conscious-of-waste foodies will occasionally find themselves taking a dry loaf of bread from the cupboard, or some stale rolls hiding in the very back of the bread-box.

‘Don’t waste the bread’ is a recipe series to show just how varied and delicious bread can be, even when it is getting old and past its due date. Food is one of the biggest areas people can easily make a difference in their lives becoming more sustainable, by not wasting food with just a little thought and creativity.

Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Bread Sauce

This recipe uses old bread and also seasonal spring produce such as zucchinis and eggplant. Romesco sauce originates from Tarragona, in Northeastern Spain. It is a delicious accompaniment for vegetables or fish with a rich Spanish flavour.

Spanish Romesco Sauce:

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  • 3 tablespoons hazelnuts
  • Two thick slices of old bread torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or small hot pepper (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grilled vegetables:
  • 2 zucchini, sliced diagonally 1/3 inch thick
  • 2 eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 red onion, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Light the grill.
  2. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. When the hazelnuts have cooled completely coarsely chop them up.
  3. Brush the zucchini, eggplant, and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred in spots and tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts, bread pieces, almonds, garlic and chilli if using. Process to a smooth paste. Add the tomatoes, roasted red pepper and vinegar. With the machine on, slowly pour in the 1/4 cup of olive oil and process until blended and smooth.
  5. Put the Romesco sauce into a bowl, stir in the parsley and season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a serving platter and eat topped with Romesco sauce.
No-Waste Tips: Bread

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