Winter Salsa Romesco


This winter adaptation of the Catalan romesco sauce perfectly balances out the sweet and smoky flavor of burnt leeks. The original romesco sauce contains tomatoes and red peppers and is traditionally eaten with barbecued calçots, a type of green onion. Whereas the leek season here in central Europe peaks in fall and winter, tomatoes and red peppers are not in season. That’s why my winter adaptation of this delicious dip contains dried tomatoes and paprika powder to substitute the fresh vegetables. Not quite the same but just as tasty.

Winter Salsa Romesco

A winter adaptation of the Catalan romesco sauce: the perfect addition to any charred vegetables. Try with burnt leeks and enjoy as a (quite messy) family or party appetizer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 1 medium size glass jar


  • 10 dried tomatoes chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic roasted or lightly fried in olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts (approx. 30 pieces)
  • 1/4 cup almonds (approx. 30 pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 150 ml water
  • salt to taste (depending on how salty the dried tomatoes are, you will have to add no to quite a bit of salt)


  • Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth but little pieces of nuts still visible.
  • Check notes for burnt leeks.


For burnt leeks set the oven to max, lay leeks on a baking sheet, bake for 30 min or until outer layer is brown/black and middle is soft.
Let cool down, peel off burnt layer and enjoy warm or cold with romesco sauce.