Grilled California Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
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.
11⁄2 lb. fresh California asparagus, trimmed, blanched if large or jumbo
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
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.