Ali Slagle’s new recipe uses romesco sauce for big flavor.
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By Tejal Rao
Since I was about 13 and saw a tiny photo of one in an outdated Spanish language textbook, I’ve been dreaming about going to a calçotada — a Catalonian get-together where people grill loads of calçots, a spring onion as slender as a baby leek, and then eat them heaped with romesco sauce.
I’m sad to report that this isn’t my year. But that won’t stop me from making a big batch of romesco at home, full of red peppers, almonds, smoked paprika, vinegar and olive oil! If almonds aren’t your thing, look to Yewande Komolafe’s cashew romesco for inspiration. Either way, it’s a delicious, versatile and luxurious sauce that goes wonderfully with raw or grilled vegetables, creamy beans, crunchy toast or a simple piece of steamed fish. What can’t romesco do?
Ali Slagle’s new recipe for romesco egg salad (above) puts the sauce to use in a particularly clever way, starting with jarred, roasted red peppers and store-bought roasted almonds to save some prep time. Mixed with chopped, soft-boiled eggs, it’s a tangy, smoky, thoroughly dreamy snack to anchor a sandwich. Or enjoy just as it is with some toast.
If you’re looking for another fast salad, Priya Krishna adapted this juicy jicama number from Hugo Orozco, the chef of Cruz del Sur in Brooklyn. You’ll need a bottle of Tajín on hand — the salty, tangy chile seasoning isn’t just a garnish here, but an essential part of the salad, flavoring a mix of citrus, cucumber, pineapple, lettuce and more.
Did you catch Clarissa Wei’s story about the foods of the spring holiday Qingming, also known in English as Tomb Sweeping Day? Reporting out of Taipei, Taiwan, Clarissa interviewed Chinese families who still practice the tradition of cleaning their ancestors’ graves and making food offerings to their spirits. She shared their recipes for chicken rice with a lime-spiked shallot sauce, siu yuk (or crispy pork belly) and a beautiful sweet and sour fish, shallow fried whole and then topped with a tangy tomato-based sauce.
Now, let’s take a minute to talk about something really sweet. I’ve been fixated on Samantha Seneviratne’s banana pancakes, ideally dripping with maple syrup and butter, and I think this is the weekend I make them with my nephews. I’ll encourage them to stop mixing as soon as the flour has disappeared into the batter because, guess what? Lumps are OK! Hooray for lumps! (A good motto for pancakes and a good motto for a chaotic week.)
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One last thing: Don’t miss Julia Moskin’s story about croissants and other magnificent feats of lamination. The photos by Julia Gartland, styled by Lauren LaPenna, are so good, they’re almost cruel. If they put you in the mood for some flaky pastries, you can try your hand making Claire Saffitz’s croissants. The project will be well worth it, but keep in mind it will take 24 hours 😭.
Sam will be here on Friday, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.
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