It’s worth the effort to make this sauce, if only for the aroma in the kitchen while preparing it. I learned how to make this garlicky sauce when I took part in a Mediterranean Vegetarian Cooking Class with Bill Jones from Deerholme Farm last fall. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his classes, go for it! He is a well-known accomplished chef and a very personable culinary instructor who has authored several cook books.
I have used this sauce on grilled vegetables, tossed with pasta, and as a crostini topping. I think it would be particularly good on halibut. It gets rave reviews from everyone (except from those foolish people who dislike excessive amounts of garlic.)
Makes 2 cups
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored
1 head garlic, sliced in half crosswise (just leave the skins on)
Fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1 ancho chili, cored and seeded (An ancho chili is a dried poblano. Soak the ancho to make it more pliable before pureeing it.)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar (I used Capirette, a product from Spain available at Cowichan Bay Seafoods)
1 slice stale bread, cubed, if needed
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Put the tomatoes and half the garlic head in a baking pan. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top. Drizzle with about 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil into the cored tomato wells and on top of the garlic. Roast until the tomatoes and garlic are well caramelized but not burned, about 30 minutes. Enjoy the smells in your kitchen. Remove the skins from the garlic now. They will peel off easily.
From the remaining half head of garlic, coarsely chop 1 Tbsp. and put it in a food processor. Add the almonds, ancho chili, salt and vinegar and pulse until smooth. Add the roasted tomatoes and garlic and process until slightly chunky. Add the bread to thicken if necessary. Serve, drizzling a little olive oil on top. Soooo good!