Seafood Romesco with Catalan Toast | CUESA

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Seafood Romesco with Catalan Toast


Daniel Olivella, B44.

Originally from the coast of Tarragona, this dish is popular in El Serrallo, the fisherman’s neighborhood. At the restaurant, I make this dish with prawns, mussels, and monkfish, but you can easily adapt this dish to what is available locally and seasonally

Serves 4


Seafood Romesco
3 ancho peppers
4 4-ounce monkfish filets
4 4-ounce filets of a firm, white fish, such as halibut, cod, or hake
Flour (for dredging fish)
2 cups olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
4 fine-slivered garlic cloves
4 ripe tomatoes
3 cups fish stock (or substitute chicken stock or water)
3 ounces roasted almonds
4 prawns
20 mussels
20 manila clams
White pepper

Catalan Toast
Bread, ½- to ¾ -inch slices
2-3 ripe plum tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil


For the seafood romesco

  1. Soak ancho peppers in lukewarm water 1 hour before you begin cooking. Slice peppers open and remove seeds.

  2. Season fish with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, sauté fish until slightly brown. Remove fish and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, sauté the diced onions, adding more oil if necessary to keep from burning. When the onions begin to roast, add garlic. Add chopped tomatoes and stock and let reduce for a few minutes. This finished product is called a sofrito.
  4. Pour soffritto into a blender, along with peppers and almonds and blend until smooth. This resulting mixture is called a picada.
  5. Place fish in a large pan, add fish stock, shrimp, clams, and picada, over medium-high heat. Stir and check for salt. Cook at a simmer until shrimp turn opaque, the shellfish open up, and the sauce has reduced.

For the Catalan Toast

  1. To make pa amb tomaquet, find a nice ripe tomato and cut it in half. Though you can toast bread on a grill or in a toaster, there’s nothing better than toasting it slowly in front of a fire.
  2. Gently rub garlic on toasted bread, then rub on tomato, making sure the bread gets moist all over with the juices of the tomato. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. For even more flavor, I recommend that you press the dressed pieces of toast together to absorb the extra oil.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy with the seafood romesco



CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »