Recipes and Conversation from the Kitchen with Steven Bonin

Executive Chef and Owner of Bench Kitchen

Romesco Dip

Owning a bakery means you need to be creative with left over bread.  To start any given day we begin with dozens of freshly baked sourdough sandwich loaves and boules.  We never know just how busy we will be, so I rely on experience, sales reports from previous years and other metrics to try and have just the right amount of bread for each day.  Some of the freshly baked loaves are meant for retail but the majority of them are used for our sandwiches.  Occasionally, we will be slower than expected, or sandwich sales didn’t quite live up to my forecasting, so the issue of left over bread is not an uncommon occurrence.  We only serve freshly baked bread for our non-toasted sandwiches so we cannot use the day-olds’ that way.  What do we do with the left over bread you ask?  The day old bread goes through a chain of order to find a new home.  We do have some toasted sandwiches on the menu so we will use some of the day old bread for those.  If we have more bread than we will use in toasted sandwiches then we will retail some loaves as “yesterday’s bake”.  If any of the day old bread does not sell or get used in a toasted sandwich by the end of the day, we will freeze it to either use in cooking, donate to food banks or let the staff take home.  But, yes, we do run into a surplus of bread at times.  That means being creative and trying to use up what we have.  I have found “homes” for bread as the panade (mixture of breadcrumbs and milk) in our meatballs .  We use toasted bread for the croutons that accompany our soup of the day.  Another really cool thing to do with old bread is to use it as a garnish for a sandwich feature like our take on a Cordon Bleu.

Our Cordon Bleu Sandwich with Garlic Toasted Bread Crumbs

Our Cordon Bleu sandwich has chicken breast, ham, sliced swiss cheese, dijon aioli and Garlic Toasted Bread Crumbs on it.  There is a simple little process to make our Garlic Toasted Bread Crumbs that doesn’t really require its own recipe.  The basic steps are as follows: We cut the day old bread into slices and then toast it. Then we use the food processor to turn the toast into bread crumbs.  We then take those bread crumbs, toss them in Roasted Garlic Oil and Sea Salt, then quickly toast them again.  Just a little sprinkle of the breadcrumbs gives the sandwich a feel like the chicken breast has been breaded and deep fried, when really it is the more healthy oven baked chicken breast we always use. Another favourite use for day old bread is to make the delicious Spanish inspired Romesco Sauce.  Romesco is a super flavourful sauce that can be used as a dip, as a spread on a sandwich or even as a pasta sauce.  This dip has huge savoury notes that come from roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic, paprika, vinegar and of course, toasted sourdough bread.  I really take advantage of the cooking equipment I have at the shop for this dip by smoking the almonds and tomatoes first.

Romesco: Roasted Red Peppers, Tomato, Almonds and Sourdough Bread

It is not, however, a necessary step to make this dip great.  I also use roasted garlic rather than fresh garlic.  Most of my recipes shy away from huge raw garlic to be honest.  Because we are a lunch restaurant, I understand many people have at least half a day of work remaining and may have meetings, so full-on garlic may not be what they are looking for.  Garlic is great however and by roasting it, we add an amazing, more mellow, garlic punch to our food.

A food processor makes this dip easy and fast

I have a great trick for roasting garlic that I will definitively share in another post.  Also, to save time you can definitely use canned or jarred roasted red peppers. Give this recipe a try as a dip for a veggie platter; a sauce to accompany a nice piece of salmon, or just spread it on some toast with feta cheese.  How do you use day old bread?  Leave a comment as I would love to hear your suggestions and tips for using left over sourdough bread.

Romesco Dip

Crowd pleasing savory dip
Prep Time 45 mins

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • 188 g Roasted Red Pepper
  • 125 g Smoked Tomato
  • 25 g Roasted Garlic
  • 50 g Smoked and Roasted Almonds
  • 118 g Toasted Sourdough Bread Crumbs
  • 47 g Red Wine Vinegar
  • 22 g Olive Oil
  • 15 g Smoked Paprika
  • 2 g Chili Flakes
  • 93 g Water
  • 2 g Salt

Instructions
 

  • In your food processor, blend peppers, tomatoes and roasted garlic until smooth, pour into bowl and set aside
  • In your food processor, blitz almonds and bread crumbs until fine
  • Add almond and bread crumb mixture to blended vegetables
  • Add vinegar, olive oil, paprika, chili flakes, water and salt to mixture; stir to combine
  • Let mixture stand for at least 30 minutes to ensure proper consistency
  • Adjust seasoning as needed
Keyword Almonds, Dip, Roasted Red Pepper, Romesco
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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