Grilled California Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

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Menu Part: Side Dish
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 6

This piquant sauce from Spain plays point and counterpoint with the palate. The contrast of the bright green of the spears with the red of the sauce, makes an eye-catching combo.

Ingredients

11⁄2 lb. fresh California asparagus, trimmed, blanched if large or jumbo
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3⁄4 cup roughly chopped roasted red bell pepper
2 tbsp. roughly chopped, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 (1-in.) slices lightly toasted baguette, torn
2 tbsp. toasted blanched slivered almonds
1 clove garlic, chopped
1⁄2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1⁄2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Water, as needed

Steps

1. Brush asparagus with olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat, turning frequently, until lightly browned and fork tender, about 5 min. Season with salt and pepper; cool.

2. In food processor, puree red pepper with 1⁄8 tsp. salt and next 7 ingredients for Romesco Sauce. With machine running, drizzle in 11⁄2 tbsp. olive oil. If necessary, thin with water, 1 tbsp. at a time.

3. Arrange asparagus on a platter; serve with sauce.