Griddled Calçots with Romesco Sauce recipe image

Print Griddled Calçots with Romesco Sauce

So beloved by the Catalonians are these green onions that they merit their own festival, the Calçotada. They are charred over an open fire and wrapped in paper to steam. The blistered skins are stripped away, and they are dragged through a rich red pepper sauce before devouring whole. Here is a version of the classic recipe adapted to be possible without having to get the fire lighters out. We’d recommend a glass of red wine to compliment it.

Ingredients

  • For the romesco sauce:
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 roasted & peeled red peppers
  • 1 slice of stale bread, crust removed
  • 1 large roasted tomato
  • 30g toasted almonds
  • 20g roasted & skinned hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, plus a little more to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Dried chilli to taste
  • 500g calçot onions

Method

  1. To make the sauce, put everything, apart from the chilli, into a food processor. Blend into a thick sauce. Add more olive oil or a dash of hot water to loosen. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch or two of chilli to your taste. Add a shake more vinegar to increase the piquancy, if you think it needs it. This can be made ahead of time.
  2. To cook the calçots, preheat your oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Griddle the calçots until the outsides are marked and starting to blacken and burn. If you have a gas hob you can pass them over an open gas flame too, for some extra charring.
  3. While the calçots are on the griddle, take a sheet of baking parchment and run it under some warm water. Scrunch it up in you hands until it becomes soft and pliable. When the calçots are nicely charred, wrap them in the wet baking parchment and pop them in the oven for 5 mins so that they cook through to the centre.
  4. Serve them whole, with a bowl of sauce on the side. Peel away the charred skins and dip them in the sauce as you eat.
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