Pic of Romesco picada sauce

Romesco picada sauce

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Salad dressings & dips

Romesco picada sauce

Side Serves 4 30 min
This recipe is combination of two classic Spanish sauces – it’s truly a Riverford original, concocted by chef James. Romesco is a sauce from the Catalan region of Spain; recipes vary, but normally include tomato, almonds and/or hazelnuts. British versions of romesco are often based on roasted bell peppers and almonds. Picada is normally an intense sauce made from almonds, garlic and breadcrumbs; it’s often stirred into dishes and other sauces at the last minute as a way of elevating the flavour. Use this as a condiment at Christmas or any other time of year. It goes really well with greens like broccoli and sprouts as well as roasted meat.

Cook's notes

Confit garlic can be bought or easily made at home: cook whole bulbs of garlic submerged in olive oil at 140°C/Gas 1 for roughly an hour, until soft through.


  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 bulb confit garlic, see cook’s notes
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves
  • 30g toasted blanched almonds
  • 30g toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 slice stale bread
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • bunch of fresh parsley
  • olive oil
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Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 15 min
  • Step 1

    On a gas stove, burn the peppers in the flame until the skin is black and blistered – holding them with tongs is a good way to do this. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can put them under the grill, turning them occasionally so you blacken each side. Once done, transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to cool. Once cool, remove the blackened skins with your hands, then pull the peppers apart and remove the seeds and the stalk.
  • Step 2

    Add all the ingredients to a food processor, apart from the lemon juice, olive oil and parsley. Blitz until roughly chopped, then add the olive oil a little at a time until the consistency is smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Chop the parsley and stir it through, then add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. If you want a slightly crunchier texture, then reserve some of the nuts and add them at the end.

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