the taste space

Chickpeas Romesco

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on July 24, 2010


Continuing with the nut theme after muhammara, here is scrumptious nut, roasted pepper, tomato-based sauce teamed with chickpeas. Romesco sauce is a popular Spanish sauce from the Catalan Tarragona province and the variations are endless depending on whether the sauce is served as a dip, with vegetables, meatballs, fish, etc. The New Spanish Table, an enticing, Spanish cookbook, has 4 different recipes of the romesco sauce as each is tweaked to its accompaniment.

The sauce reminds me a bit of muhammara as the main flavours are roasted red peppers and nuts.  The Romesco sauce has a heavier comforting tomato presence and the use of almonds is a bit more creamy than walnuts. As I prefer cooking vegetarian at home, I was excited to try it with chickpeas when I saw Joanne posted it on Eats Well With Others, who had adapted it from Veganomicon.

I wasn’t disappointed because the Romesco sauce worked wonderfully with the inherent nuttiness of chickpeas. This comforting dish is great year-round as canned tomatoes were easy to use before the juicy, ripe ones are available locally. I roasted my own peppers which added some time, but it was a fabulous, easy meal served alongside rice.

One mention about portion sizes, as I am still working my way through leftovers (which are really tasty, too). The original recipe says serves 4-6 but it really makes a lot of food. I’d gather around 8 servings. It could be due to the bigger cans of chickpeas in Canada (19 oz compared to the 15 oz in the recipe) and I also threw in an extra red pepper. Although this is not the first time I have run into discrepant portion sizes. I blame it on the bigger “super-sized” American meals! Has anyone else noticed this?  As much as I loved it, I might half the recipe next time unless I am feeding a crowd.


This is my submission to this month’s AWED featuring Spain, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays, and my second submission to this month’s My Legume Love Affair hosted by Siri at Siri’s Corner.

Chickpeas Romesco

1 cup brown rice
3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and deseeded
1/2 cup blanched almonds or ground almonds
28 oz canned diced/whole tomatoes, undrained
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes (this could be increased if you want more heat)
1/4 cup red wine
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 (19 oz) cans chickpeas, drained
salt, to taste

1. Set up the rice, either in a rice cooker or on the stovetop as per the package’s instructions.

2. If roasting your own peppers, preheat the oven broiler. Line a small roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the pepper halves in the pan, cut side down, and place in the oven on the shelf closest to the broiler. Broil until the pepper skins are completely black, about 8-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap the pepper in the foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and rub off the skins of the peppers. Set peppers aside.

3. Grind the almonds into crumbs with a food processor. Set aside.

4. Puree the tomatoes (undrained) and roasted red peppers together until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.

5. Heat a large frypan on medium heat with the olive oil. Saute the garlic, shallots, and chili flakes for 4-5 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir. Simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomato/pepper puree, vinegar, sugar, thyme, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Add the ground almonds and stir. Fold in the chickpeas and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add salt to taste, and serve over the brown rice (or grain of your choice).

Serves 8 (the recipe says serves 4-6, but we have bigger cans of beans in Canada).

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23 Responses

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  1. Deanna said, on July 24, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    This looks delicious and so healthy. It’s definitely on my “to try soon” list!

  2. Rob said, on July 24, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    You forgot to mention how wonderful this dish is when having it for leftovers, too!

  3. Joanne said, on July 25, 2010 at 7:29 AM

    I think I was marathon-training when I made this, which is possibly the reason why i was perfectly fine with the portion sizes! I’m so glad you liked this dish! It’s one of my favorites and now I’m seriously craving it. I need to redo the photo anyway…

  4. Kevin (Closet Cooking) said, on July 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    This sounds like a really nice healthy and tasty meal!

  5. Holy Cannoli Recipes said, on July 25, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    This sounds like something that my husband and I would love. We love beans and I am always looking for new recipes. I will have to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Priti said, on July 25, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    New recipe for me and it looks yum….

  7. Natalie said, on July 26, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    This looks absolutely divine AND healthy to boot! In my quest to start eating more healthy, this is definitely one to keep in the arsenal! Thank you!

  8. Ashley said, on July 27, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    I’ve seen so many romesco recipes around recently! I think it’s a sign that I must make it soon… this looks so good!

  9. Soma said, on July 27, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    I have been wanting to make this since a Romesco Chicken dish. It looks and sounds so good and i feel it makes a natural pair with the chickpea! love the flavor of roasted red pepper and will add almonds anywhere I can. This is for me.

  10. Jessica said, on July 29, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    This looks yummy! Delicious served with a crunchy bagette or some home made wheat bread.

  11. [...] Chickpeas Romesco [...]

  12. [...] eventually made another recipe from Veganomicon, Chickpeas Romesco, filled with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and almonds. As I was googling to see if anyone had [...]

  13. [...] to it recently, my curiosity was caught by many recipes. My favourites so far have been the chickpeas romesco and the tamarind [...]

  14. Asheley Elizabeth said, on June 20, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    Just made this for dinner tonight.. I love to combo of flavors.. definitely a ‘keeper’. Thanks! :)

  15. [...] of my favourite Chickpeas Romesco, I originally ate this smothered over chickpeas with a lettuce base. After an overnight marinade, [...]

  16. [...] Chickpeas Romesco with Massaged Kale Salad – I *heart* chickpeas! [...]

  17. everydayvegangirl said, on August 10, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    I love the use of chickpeas in this…such a great way to make this dish healthy and full of protein!

    Thanks for linking up to HVF!

    • everydayvegangirl said, on August 17, 2012 at 3:00 AM

      I am featuring this recipe on my blog for this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays. It is my pick for “must make now!” I cannot wait to make them and hope you will join us again for another round of HVF!

  18. […] don’t like chickpeas with vinaigrettes, preferring them pan-roasted or smothered in thick sauces. However, as soon as we tasted this salad, both Rob and I were […]

  19. […] a few of mine). I recommend her Creamy Lemon-Basil Whipped Avocado Sauce,  Lentil Mango Picadillo, Chickpeas Romesco, Brazilian Black Bean Soup, Spaghetti with Roasted Peach-Tomato Sauce, and Greek Baked […]


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