Traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, a classic romesco features roasted garlic, roasted tomatoes, smoked peppers, almonds or hazelnuts, olive oil, sherry vinegar and bits of stale bread. The nuts and bread give it richness and a texture that resembles thick corduroy. Because it’s a sauce that’s usually served with meat, fish or chicken, its flavor can be quite bold and brash.
To turn it into dinner, I deconstructed it, and mellowed it out a little. Here, the garlic is replaced by chopped red onion, and red and orange bell peppers tag in for the traditional Spanish ñora chiles. These join cherry tomatoes and slabs of creamy feta on a sheet tray with a drizzle of olive oil.
After about half an hour in the oven, the feta turns soft and lightly toasted, the tomatoes slump and share their tangy juices, the peppers become soft and sweet and the nuts get even crunchier. A drizzle of sherry vinegar tames the sweetness, and a generous sprinkle of chopped parsley gives it some pep. Serve it all over thick slices of crusty bread — rubbed with roasted or raw garlic, if you’d like! — to soak up all of those fruity juices and the soft, creamy cheese.
Romesco-Inspired Sheet Pan Feta With Peppers and Tomatoes
- Not into bell peppers? >> Use more tomatoes, or try this with curly kale or broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces.
- No good-looking cherry tomatoes at the market? >> Use more bell peppers, or try fresh green beans or chopped zucchini.
- The onion adds a bit of astringency >> though you could skip it.
- Almonds add crunch. >> Instead, try hazelnuts or cashews. Store-bought crispy chickpeas would work as a nut-free option.
- I love roasted feta >> but you could use halloumi or queso fresco instead. You could also just add dollops of ricotta to each plate when serving.
- The sherry vinegar mellows some of the sweetness. >> Lemon juice would be a nice substitute.
- Parsley is great here >> though dill or a few sprigs of chopped rosemary would work, too.
- Instead of bread >> you could serve this over couscous or even pasta.
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- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 red or orange bell peppers (1 1/2 pounds total), seeded and cut into thick slices
- 1 small red onion (4 ounces), chopped
- 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) whole roasted, unsalted almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 8 ounces cow or sheep’s milk feta, drained and sliced into 4 large slabs
- Crushed red pepper flakes and/or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 small bunch parsley (3 ounces), chopped
- Crusty bread, for serving
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
On a large, rimmed baking sheet, combine the olive oil, bell peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes and almonds. Using your hands, gently toss them together so that everything is well coated with the oil. Spread into an even layer and season with the salt. Nestle the feta blocks in with the vegetables, letting them rest at the bottom of the sheet pan. Season everything with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and/or a few grinds of black pepper. Roast, rotating the pan once halfway through baking, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the peppers and onions are soft, the tomatoes have just burst, and the feta looks slightly melty.
In a small cup, stir together the vinegar and water and drizzle it over the just-roasted vegetables. Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve family-style, with crusty bread on the side.
Per serving (1 piece of feta plus 1 1/2 cups of roasted vegetables and nuts), based on 4
Calories: 525; Total Fat: 41 g; Saturated Fat: 11 g; Cholesterol: 50 mg; Sodium: 805 mg; Carbohydrates: 26 g; Dietary Fiber: 9 g; Sugars: 15 g; Protein: 17 g.
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.
From staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.
Tested by Kara Elder; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Catch up on this week’s Eat Voraciously newsletter recipes:
Tuesday: Thai Kabocha Curry
Wednesday: Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup