A Romesco sauce recipe that will make a platter of raw vegetables pop

Given our love of dips at Eater, we were thrilled to find this recipe for raw vegetables with romesco sauce in Please wait to be tasted, the new cookbook from the team behind beloved restaurant Lil’ Deb’s Oasis in Hudson, New York. A giant platter of romesco sauce lined with raw vegetables is arguably the pinnacle of dipping, and one that translates beautifully to outdoor entertaining. Here, as chefs and authors Carla Kaya Perez-Gallardo, Hannah Black and Wheeler write, the classic Catalan sauce is made with “pistachios, green peppers and parsley to give it garden goddess qualities.” It’s perfect for this time of year when vegetables are particularly abundant. Lil’ Deb’s team has plenty of suggestions for you to use, but the only rule of thumb is to go where inspiration takes you – as long as you’re careful to prepare the raw veggies for presentation. Raw vegetables also need love, after all.

Crudités recipe with Romesco Verde

Yields 1 Party Tray

Ingredients:

Romesco Verde:

3 green peppers
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup roasted pistachios
1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 garlic cloves
1 fresh serrano pepper
2 tablespoons of salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Raw vegetables

Instructions:

Prepare the romesco verde:

Step 1: Under a broiler or on a broiler, blacken the green peppers, using tongs to turn the peppers for even shading. Once the skin has blackened but not burned, put the peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and steam for at least 10 minutes.

2nd step: When the peppers have cooled, gently rub your fingers along the charred skin to remove it. Cut the peppers into strips, discard the ribs and seeds. Transfer to a blender or food processor, then add the parsley, pistachios, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, garlic, serrano pepper and salt and blend until a rough paste forms. form. With the blender or food processor running, gradually add the olive oil and continue blending to incorporate. Refrigerate until ready to serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Prepare the raw vegetables:

OK, so the next step is crucial, and we encourage you to find joy in the process of preparing raw vegetables for presentation. In the restaurant, we argue over who cleans the vegetables because the process is so meditative and relaxing. All you need is fresh water in the sink or in a bowl, a kitchen towel or paper towels, a potato peeler and a paring knife. Then consider the shape of each vegetable and how best to clean and cut them to produce a dynamic variety of shapes and sizes. We have some suggestions to make these beautiful vegetables even more beautiful:

  • radishes: keep them whole; remove their outer leaves, but leave their delicate inner leaves intact
  • peel the carrots then cut them diagonally
  • rinse the fennel and remove its tough outer layer, before cutting it vertically to reveal its beautiful angelic wings
  • peel strips of cucumber skin lengthwise to create alternating rows, then cut into sticks
  • remove the outer layers of scallions, revealing their shiny white skin, and carve their slightly angled tops to accentuate their pungent personalities
  • peel the jícama and cut it into sticks or rings
  • serve raw or blanched green peas and beans in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, then shock in an ice bath for 1 minute to bring out their deeper green hues
  • for more crunch, prepare raw or blanched cauliflower or broccoli

To serve: Select a large flat dish and spread a generous amount of romesco in the middle, in a curved line. Arranging the vegetables, creating areas of color, it’s an art after all! To spread the color and shape across the board, don’t be afraid to place vegetables multiple times in different areas of the board.

Reproduced with permission from Please Wait to Be Tasted: The Lil’ Deb’s Oasis Cookbook by Carla Kaya Perez-Gallardo, Hannah Black and Wheeler, copyright © 2022. Published by Princeton Architectural Press.
Photography copyright: Jessica Pettway © 2022.