Parmesan Croccantini with Smoky Romesco Sauce
A classic Spanish appetizer, with an Italian La Panzanella twist, full of savory, smoky goodness.
3 medium red bell peppers
2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 Tbsp. smoked almonds
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup (approx. 1oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup egg white or egg substitute
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat boiler.
- Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise, discarding seeds and membranes. Place bell pepper halves and plum tomato halves skin up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Flatten bell peppers by hand. Broil approx. 10 minutes, or until vegetable skins are cracked and blackened. Place in a sealable plastic bag, and let stand 15 minutes. Then, peel and chop coarsely, reserving any liquid.
- Combine bell peppers, tomatoes, almonds, olive oil, sherry, paprika, cayenne, and garlic in a food processor, with 1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste. Process until smooth.
- Combine 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper to taste, and Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish. Brush Croccantini with egg whites or egg substitute, and lightly coat with cheese mixture. Place Croccantini on a baking sheet, and bake at 400F for ~4 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crackers begin to turn golden brown. Serve immediately with sauce.