Top | The Paley's Place Cookbook

Crispy Potatoes With Romesco

(recipe, Robert Reynolds, Vitaly Paley, Kimberly Paley)


When Kimberly and I traveled through Spain, we tried a dish of roasted potatoes with a pepper-and-fried-almond condiment called romesco. When I created my version of this taste memory, I sought simple and satisfying tastes that exploded with flavor. Dark red and mild, nyora peppers are authentic to this recipe. When I can't find nyoras, I look for other dried peppers with mild taste. Or I will use only fresh bell peppers.


  1. 8 dried nyora peppers (or any mild, dried red chile), seeded
  2. 2 cups boiling water
  3. 2 red bell peppers
  4. 1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  5. ½ cup almonds (blanched or skins on)
  6. 2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
  7. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  8. 1 tomato, peeled and seeded
  9. 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  10. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  11. 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
  12. 1 cup mixed olives, such as arbequina and lucques, pitted
  13. 2 Tbsp. persillade


  1. Snap the stems from the nyora peppers. Shake out and discard the seeds. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with a small plate to keep the chiles submerged until softened, about 20 minutes. Discard the soaking liquid. Set the chiles aside.
  2. To peel the bell peppers on a gas burner, place them on a burner set on high heat. Using tongs, rotate them until they become uniformly blackened on all sides. To roast and peel the peppers in the oven, roast them in a 350-degree oven until the skins brown and loosen, about 30 minutes.
  3. For either method, place the cooked peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until cool enough to handle, approximately 10 minutes. Peel off the skins, remove the seeds and stems, and set the peppers aside.
  4. In a small skillet, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil, add the almonds, and cook over medium heat, shaking the pan a few times, until the nuts are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Drain the almonds and let cool slightly. Discard the oil.
  5. In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place the chiles, roasted bell peppers, almonds, bread crumbs, garlic, tomato, vinegar and ¾ cup olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pulse to obtain a smooth purée. Transfer the puréed romesco mixture to a container, cover and refrigerate until needed.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  7. To prepare the potatoes, place them in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Add a generous sprinkle of salt. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are barely done and still a bit firm when pierced with a long wooden skewer or small paring knife, about 25 minutes (see note). Drain, cool slightly, then peel them and cut into wedges.
  8. Transfer the potato wedges to a baking sheet and season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil to coat the potatoes evenly. Bake on the upper rack of the oven until browned and crispy, about 40 minutes.
  9. To serve, place the potatoes in a serving bowl, scatter with olives, and top with half of the romesco. Sprinkle with persillade and pass the potatoes around the table, accompanied by the rest of the romesco.