Catalan Calcots served with Romesco sauce is a real springtime treat, typical to Catalonia. We have been lucky enough to experience this feast on a few occasions and this recipe is provided with help of our good friend and neighbour Montse and her Dad Rafael who have been preparing and serving calcots for generations, literally from seed to table...
Home made Salsa Romesco:
250g Toasted almonds
150g Toasted hazelnuts
100g pine nuts
1 Dried sweet red pepper or (nora), roughly chopped
¼ Dried chilli pepper, roughly chopped
6 Medium ripe vine tomatoes
7 Cloves garlic
Tablespoon white wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Natural wood fired BBQ, newspaper for wrapping.
* Roast the vine tomatoes, two of the calçots and the garlic on the barbeque, keeping one clove of garlic aside. Allow the vegetables to cool and then peel removing the seeds from the tomatoes too.
* Place the almonds and hazelnuts, sweet pepper, chilli, all the vegetables, salt and vinegar into a blender or food processor and mix well.
* Slowly add the olive oil as you continue to mix (about 300ml, as the nuts will make the salsa quite thick and textured)
* Keep mixing, slowly adding the oil until the sauce is smooth and thick.
* Check the seasoning and spoon the Romesco into a cazuela or small tapas bowl, cover and keep in a cool place for a day or so until you are ready to enjoy.
For the Calcots:
For this Catalan recipe you will need 5 dozen calcots or "scallions" in their entirety. Give them a quick rinse under the cold tap and leave to dry. The barbeque coals are the crucial to success with this recipe – a thick layer of hot coals or "brassa" is ideal, place the scallions on top of the grill and cook until the undersides of the scallions turn black. Rotate and cook until they are black all over (20 – 30 minutes and don not be afraid to burn them slightly). Once cooked wrap them up into bundles of 12 using good old fashoined newspaper. Your Catalan “Calcots” are now ready to eat!
Read the full article inc prepping Calcots here
Photo credits: Montse Capdevila