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Shriveled Potatoes with Romesco Sauce

Not all Halloween-party food has to be in a scary shape or color -- some dishes hint more subtly at the macabre theme, like these shriveled baby potatoes. The skins of waxy red and gold potatoes turn very wrinkled when roasted in the hot oven; a pool of peppery romesco makes a delicious accompaniment. Impale the potatoes on toothpick spears for easy dipping.

  • Servings: 8
Shriveled Potatoes with Romesco Sauce

Source: Halloween 2009, 2009

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole blanched almonds
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/8 teaspoon pimenton (smoked hot paprika)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mixed baby red and Yukon gold potatoes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet until lightly golden and fragrant, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, roast red peppers directly over a gas burner flame until blistered and charred, turning with tongs as each section blackens. (Alternatively, broil peppers on a baking sheet.) Transfer peppers to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap; let steam about 15 minutes. Using paper towels, peel off blackened skins; remove and discard stems and seeds.

  3. Lower oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor,
    pulse almonds, roasted red peppers, pimenton, mint, vinegar, garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a coarse paste, about 1 minute. With machine running, add 1 tablespoon oil in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

  4. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast in oven (without moving potatoes on the pan) until skins are slightly crisp and potatoes are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve potatoes warm or at room temperature, with sauce on the side.

Cook's Note

Romesco sauce tastes even better the next day, when the flavors have had a chance to blend. Refrigerate it overnight in a covered container, and bring to room temperature before serving.

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