A Spanish Style Salmon fillet on a bed of quinoa and green asparagus topped with a nutty Romesco Sauce is great way to bring a little Mediterranean sun to your plate.romesco sauce Bbq

Salmon on asparagus and romesco

Salmon Fillet on green Asparagus and Quinoa Bed topped with Romesco Sauce the perfect set of Spanish flavors. This gorgeous orange sauce is a rich, slightly nutty and ultra healthy one.  This recipe is suitable for the BBQ or the oven both methods are in the directions below.

Romesco Sauce

Salmon on asparagus and romescoThe idea here was to showcase the Romesco sauce and asparagus together. It could have been a piece of chicken, red meat on top or nothing at all and it would be as delicious. Romesco is Spanish sauce consisting of roasted tomatoes, pepper pulp, paprika and roasted nuts (almonds and hazelnuts) blended with a touch of olive oil and vinegar. Frankly this orange thick sauce bring any grilled meat to another level, plus the nutty touch is simply divine with asparagus. It goes without saying that it’s by far healthier than ketchup or BBQ sauce. So if you want to give your next Salmon fillet a nice sunny touch, go for the Romesco sauce!


Let’s start this grilling season with a Spanish twist!


Salmon Fillet on Quinoa and Asparagus bed topped with a Romesco Sauce

Makes 2 portions

Salmon on asparagus and romescoIngredients
  • 2 pieces of salmon
  • 20 green asparagus
  • Romesco sauce (check recipe here)
  • 200g white quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Salt and pepper the salmon, drizzle with olive oil
  2. Cook the salmon for 20 minutes at 180°C (350F) or on the BBQ for about 10 minutes depending on the thickness
  3. Cook the quinoa as instructed with a pinch of salt and a laurel leave
  4. Add the asparagus in the oven 5-7 minutes before the end of the cooking of the salmon or on the grill for 2-3 minutes
  5. Assemble with a drizzle of romesco sauce



Salmon on asparagus and romesco

Romesco Sauce is a polyvalent sauce that goes well with any grilled meat, fish or vegetable. It’s main ingredients are roasted tomatoes, garlic, hazelnut, almond, a red pepper pulp with a touch of paprika. A perfect condiment for BBQ season!romesco salsa

Romesco Sauce

A Catalan ritual

The orange and nutty sauce originates from Tarragona, about an hour south of Barcelona, Spain. The chances are… if you come visit and try any restaurant in the outskirts of the city you’ll end up with romesco sauce in your plate. It’s especially eaten with grilled meat, fish or veggies but also on their famous papas bravas with some aioli. The Catalan rural houses often have a grilling spot in their backyard where in the winter month they do calçotadas. The equivalent of a sunday brunch… for Catalans though, the ritual consist of grilling those special green onions they call calçots which resembles leeks (but taste nothing like it) and then grill some meats and veggies while sipping on good wine all afternoon long. This special onion appetizer is eaten with romesco sauce or a similar sauce called salvitxada (more liquid by adding tomatoes and less pepper pulp). 


Calçots technique

calcotada catalanThose laborious to grow onions are the pride of Catalans and with reason! The technique consist of dumping the onions directly over the fire and burning them completely and don’t think about cleaning them up before…. no! no! no! they need this layer of dirt to protect them from the flame and keep the inside moist. Once the calçots blackened, they envelope them in a few layers of newspapers and let them rest for about 30 minutes to let the residual heat do the rest of the work. You end up with a delectable tender and melting core but to get there… you’ll need to use your hand to pull down the burned layer and then dump the onion directly in the romesco sauce. After all those steps you’ll get the reward you deserve a tender and delicious onion with a nutty romesco sauce that brings it to another level. The whole process is quite a messy one… meaning your hands are going to get dirty and if you are lucky you won’t stain anything else… On a personal note… my first calçotada was on my wedding day… white is definitely not the best color to wear at those events guys!


A great alternative

Romesco SauceThis nutty and rich sauce is the ketchup of the Catalans, they put it on everything and believe me I’ve converted too. I personally love it with green asparagus, or you could give it a try as your new ketchup in a burger. (Check my Spanish Burger recipe here). This romesco recipe version is adapted for anyone, meaning you won’t need that special pepper from Spain to make it, although I recommend to search it up because it does give the sauce a special flair. For those worried about the whole head of garlic in there…don’t!  It’s a roasted garlic that will melt like butter and become sweet, it won’t give you this bad breath so.. No worries!

So let’s get those veggies roasted!

Romesco Sauce

  • Romesco Sauce5 riped tomatoes
  • ±150ml of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 80g almonds (roasted and skinless)
  • 50g hazelnuts (roasted and skinless)
  • 1 garlic head
  • 1 small sweet red pepper or 2 ñoras pulp (or 1 tbsp of pasta de ñora or choricero)
  • 50ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sweet and/or spicy paprika
  • 1 small slice of dry bread
  • salt and pepper
  1. Start by cutting the garlic head into two (see picture below) and fold it in aluminium paper, add the tomatoes and pepper in the oven to max temperature and cook for 20 minutes, turning mid-way
  2. Leave the garlic head in the oven for an extra 10-15 minutes while the tomato and pepper chill
  3. During that time, blend the nuts and the dry bread in a food processor, add in a bowl and reserve
  4. Discard the skin and the stem from the tomatoes and add them to the blended nuts bowl
  5. With the help of a knife, scrape the inside of the pepper, discard the skin, stem and seeds and add the pulp to the mix
  6. By now the garlic is tender so unwrap it and let it cool a few minutes before squeezing it with your hands into the mix (see picture above)
  7. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, and the olive oil
  8. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth
  9. Add the vinegar (to taste) and more olive oil until right consistency
  10. Check the seasonning and serve (conserve in the fridge for a few days)



Romesco Sauce

A burger with Spanish flavors starting by a chorizo style meat pattie of paprika, parsley and garlic topped by a typical roasted pepper and a nutty homemade romesco sauce and aioli to give this burger an “Olé” touch!paprika patties cheeseburger

Spanish Burger

It’s a first on the blog… a burger! With summer coming up it’s time to bring out the BBQ! I wanted to give it a personal touch since I’m living abroad in Spain… So I’ve done a Spanish version and it turned out into a truly tasty discovery!

The meat patties

Spanish BurgerFirst of all the meat patties are a mix of pork and beef which I happen to believe is a winning combination for any burger.  Adding pork to your patties also helps to keep the patties juicy, plus pork is the meat of choice in Spain making this combination a perfect one for this Spanish version Burger! The seasonning of the meat is pretty much what they do for chorizo sausages… (solely pork) which contains usually sweet and/or spicy paprika and garlic. Nothing too complex and I’ve added a tad of finely chopped flat leave parsley to the mix to give it a fresh touch.

The sauces

As for the sauces I’ve used another favorite from Spaniards which they use for their famous “french fries” dish called papas bravas... Well more precisely it’s the Catalan combination they use for papas bravas being aioli and romesco sauce which I thought would work great in this burger. The Romesco sauce is a “nutty” and healthier version of ketchup; its contains tomato, the pulp from a special sweet pepper (ñora), roasted garlic, vinegar,Romesco Sauce olive oil, roasted hazelnut and almond. I’ve done a homemade version with a normal red pepper instead of the “special” one.  (recipe here) The result is quite similar and it’s easy to make.  If you are lucky enough some of you might find the ñora or choricero paste or even the dried pepper hidden somewhere in some European specialized stores. The second sauce is aioli which is simply a garlic mayonnaise, if done the right way it shouldn’t have any eggs in there; the fresh garlic contain a natural emulsifier, but we’ll keep it simple for now and just use a premade aioli or if you prefer simply make a homemade mayonnaise and add a garlic clove to it and voila… Aioli! Yes… that simple!

So let’s start this BBQ season with Spanish flavors!


Spanish Style Burger

Makes 4 burgers

Spanish BurgerIngredients
  • 600g of ground meat (half pork – half beef)
  • 4 burgers buns
  • 2 small red bell peppers
  • lettuce
  • aioli
  • romesco sauce (check recipe here)
  • *caperberries or pickles for the side dish
Patties seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp of (*smokey paprika de la Vera) spicy paprika
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 2 tbsp of flat leave parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

* optional

Step 1 The roasted pepper

The flame technique (faster): Add the clean peppers directly on top of a flame (BBQ or gas stove flame) and burn on all sides, until totally black and cover with aluminium foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

The oven technique: Add the pepper in the oven on the top level to broil for about 20 minutes (turn mid-way) until black on each side, cover in aluminium foil and let rest 10-15 minutes.

  • Take aluminium out and cut the extremities carefully (hot juice coming out) and with the help of a paper towel wipe off the blacken skin of the pepper
  • Cut each pepper into 2 or 3 squares and reserve
Step 2 the burgers
  1. Start by adding all the seasoning except the salt to the meat patties without overworking the meat, mix and form 4 nicely compressed patties
  2. Once the patties are formed add salt on them
  3. On a grilling pan or BBQ (check here for different techniques to cook burgers from Saveur magazine) bring to medium-high heat add the patties for 4 minutes minimum before flipping them (check the side of the pattie to see the cooking line)
  4. Add the cheese 1 minute before the end of cooking
  5. Cook the meat to your favorite doneness
  6. Warm up the bread a bit before making the burgers


Serve with caperberries. Que disfrutéis!

Spanish Burger