Roast Pumpkin Salad with Romesco Vinaigrette #BarGitano

romesco vinaigrette

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to taste Bar Gitano’s rejuvenated menu.  Chef Carlos Vázquez has added delicious small plates to the tasca’s already popular dishes – and inspired a salad recipe that would be right at home with them.

Some of Bar Gitano’s new menu items developed by Chef Vázquez include:

  • Veal and pork meatballs braised in sherry with tomatoes, shallots and migas
  • Arugula salad w roasted beets, fried goat cheese nuggets and pistachio and fig jam vinaigrette
  • Brandada de Bacalao: Codfish croquettes with lime aioli
  • Goat cheese pizzeta with romesco, fig jam, truffle oil & arugula
  • Lamb skewers with mint salsa verde and fennel salad
  • Mussels with chorizo in a rich pimenton-wine broth & toasted bread
  • Medjool dates stuffed with Valdeón cheese wrapped in bacon
  • Coconut Cake Gitano with guava mousse and topped with  toasted meringue

I still had those Spanish flavors dancing on my mouth last week when I went to the farmers’ market.  One of the dishes we enjoyed the most during the tasting was the coca de queso – a goat cheese pizzeta with romesco, fig jam truffle oil and arugula.  It was the perfect blend of sweet, salty and bitter.  I translated some of these flavors into a kale and rainbow chard salad with roasted calabaza, sautéed portobello mushrooms, lentil sprouts and a romesco vinaigrette.

romesco vinaigrette

Romesco is a Catalonian sauce made primarily with roasted peppers and nuts.  There are many versions of this sauce out there, varying the nuts, adding garlic and other spices.  I kept the recipe simple for our romesco vinaigrette, opting to use one roasted pepper, a handful of almonds, and a clove of garlic.  The vinaigrette’s tang comes from sherry vinegar.

romesco vinaigrette

romesco vinaigrette

Roasted orange pepper and their delicious syrup. Use the syrup!

Romesco Vinaigrette
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Romesco Vinaigrette
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat. Place the red pepper halves and the clove of garlic and douse with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the garlic clove after 15 minutes. Roast the peppers until charred, from 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pepper from the heat and allow to cool and to render the syrup.
  2. While the peppers roast, soak the almonds for twenty minutes and remove their peels. While the peppers cool, toast the almonds in the oven for about three minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Transfer the pepper with its syrup, peeled roasted garlic clove and the peeled almonds to a food processor. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and process until a chunky paste forms. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the sherry vinegar and the remaining oil and shake. If the mixture is still too thick for dressing a salad, add two tablespoons of water and shake again.

For the salad, take a 1/4 lb piece of calabaza and roast it along with the peppers and garlic for the dressing. Sauté a portobello mushroom cap with salt, pepper, and leaves off a sprig of thyme.  Wash and trim kale and rainbow chard leaves. Slice the pumpkin and portobello slices and layer on top of the greens.  Sprinkle the salad with lentil sprouts to taste and top off with the romesco vinaigrette.

 

Bar Gitano – located on 1302 Ashford Avenue in the Condado area of San Juan – opens on Monday to Saturday from 4:00pm to 2:00am and on Sundays from 12:00pm through 11:00pm. Tempt your eyes through their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and pay them a visit soon.   The new menu items were tasted as part of a media activity.  All opinions are my own.

romesco vinaigrette

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Author:Adriana

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

2 Responses to “Roast Pumpkin Salad with Romesco Vinaigrette #BarGitano”

  1. July 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

    Romesco sauce is one that I always enjoy eating when I’m in restaurants, but never remember to try at home. I really should give your vinaigrette a try, because it’s Kevin-friendly (vegan/gluten-free) and sounds so flavourful.

    • July 26, 2015 at 8:23 am #

      It’s a very adaptable sauce, Teresa. If left chunkier, it is a great dip for veggies or salsa replacement. I ended up thinning it so it became pourable for the salad.

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