The trick to make a great homemade salsa brava is to roast the tomatoes, garlic and almonds first. It makes a worlds difference to the final taste in the dish! And it works with so much more then just the patatas bravas (the Spanish version of “French fries”)…
Salsa Brava is a traditional Spanish sauce. It exist in many varieties depending on where you are in the country. This is my version. I hope I won’t be upsetting anyone for leaving anything out or adding something that shouldn’t be there. I just really like it like this. The sweetness from the dates, the sourness from the vinegar, the heat from the chili and the rich taste from the roasted almonds and smoked red pepper. Easygoing with much taste and easy to prepare. Why should I make it more difficult?
The ingredients in the recipe below made a rather big batch. The leftovers I poured in a ice cube mold. Once frozen, I moved the tomato sauce ice cubes to a plastig bag. That makes it really handy to work with the next time I need some tomato sauce. I just take the amount I need for the specific moment and no food is wasted.
Let’s get to work!
Homemade salsa brava
Makes a batch of approx. 1 liter
2 big garlic cloves, not peeled
4 big tomatos (approx. 600 gram)
1 tablespoon of oil
15 blanched almonds
100 gram grilled red pepper (readymade in a jar works just as good)
1/2-1 fresh red chili
1/2 teaspoon of appelcider vinegar
1-2 medjoul date, cored
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon smoked red pepper (optional)
How do I do it?
1. Set the oven on 180° C. Prepare a baking tray with baking parchment.
2. Cut the tomatoes in 2 and add some olive oil on top. Place the tomatoes, the unpeeled garlic and the blanched almonds on the baking tray. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. When ready, peel the garlic. Add all ingredients just like they are (including any juices and olive oil left on the baking tray to a mixer bowl.
4. Add the other ingredients to the mixer and mix until very smooth. Done!
Enjoy the sauce together with these vegan “meatballs” with sage (link), as a dip for your sweet potato frites together with a aquafaba mayonnaise (link) or with some fresh spinach, spiralized courgette and feta cheese. YUM!
This recipe is free from gluten, lactose and refined sugar.