Grilled Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Recipe based on recipe in NOPI cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Course Side Dish
Author Cheri


  • 2 dried ancho chile soaked in water for 30 minutes drained, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds toasted
  • 1/2 cup crustless sourdough bread cut into cubes
  • 9 medium plum tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red chiles seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 5 lbs asparagus ends trimmed off
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 1/2 cusp apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds toasted
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper


  1. Place all ingredients for the romesco sauce in a small bowl, along with 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.  Transfer to a food processor and blitz to form a paste.  Place in a small plan and warm through just before serving.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil and add the asparagus.  Blanch for 1-2 minutes, until a dente, then drain and refresh under cold water.  Set aside to dry.
  3. Place the balsamic vinegar, apple juice and sugar in a small pan and place over high heat.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by half and has a thick, sticky consistency.
  4. Place a ridged grill pan over high heat.  Toss the asparagus with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and grill for 1-2 minutes so both sides get scorched.  Plate the asparagus, either on a bed of the romesco sauce or with the sauce on the side, and drizzle the balsamic mix over the asparagus.  Wonderful served with grilled shrimp or chicken.