Romesco is a Spanish sauce typically made with roasted red peppers, garlic, blanched almonds and olive oil. Other versions can include vinegar and tomatoes. As with many traditional sauces, there are probably as many recipes for Romesco Sauce as there are cooks.
Romesco Sauce is sort of like a pesto. The ingredients are ground up and then olive oil is added for flavor and creaminess. I make mine in the food processor and it is so easy!
I decided to make my Romesco Sauce with roasted carrots instead of peppers because I had already decided on making lentil cakes. I can’t help it, I think ‘lentils’ and then the next thing that comes to mind is carrots; they have a lovely affinity for each other.
For my lentil cakes, I wanted them to have a little smokiness without adding bacon, because I was after a vegan recipe. I used Hurst Family Harvest Old World Lentil Soup Mix (which contains almost 2 cups of lentils) since it comes with a handy dandy, gluten free and vegan, smoky flavor packet.
This is a lovely main course that is gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free, vegan and healthy as all get out. It is also filling and a little different. I like different!
Gluten Free Lentil Cakes with Roasted Carrot Romesco Sauce Recipe
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
8 – 10 tablespoons olive oil, use divided
1 bag Hurst Family Harvest Old World Lentil Soup Mix
4 cups water
2 medium white or yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup Vegenaise
Gluten free, non-stick cooking spray
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Spanish or Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup blanched almonds
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Roast the carrots until tender and starting to caramelize, about 30 – 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Leave oven on.
While the carrots are roasting, combine the lentils, the smoky flavor packet, and 4 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 – 35 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain off any leftover water.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Place half the onion and garlic in a food processor along with half the cooked lentils, the Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper and process until smooth. Add the remaining lentils and pulse a few times. You want some texture to the cakes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out the lentil mixture with a 1/3 measuring cup, form into patties and place on the prepared baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Clean out the food processor bowl, add the carrots, the remaining onions and garlic, smoked paprika, vinegar and almonds. Process until it has a meal-like texture, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and puree. If the mixture is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of oil and puree. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Serve the lentil cakes topped with the Romesco sauce.
Serves 6 (2 lentil cakes per person)
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