One of the most traditional dishes of Catalan gastronomy is calçots in romesco sauce. It is a very typical dish with an exquisite sauce that will delight all diners. We will tell you how to prepare this iconic dish of Catalan gastronomy.
How to make calçots in romesco sauce?
The traditional way to prepare calçots in romesco sauce is to prepare it over the coals, and the famous calçotada is a recipe that all diners love! Although it is usually eaten during Christmas, it is a dish you can prepare at any time of the year (if you find the right onions).
So what are calçots? They are a type of onion called late onions. These onions are perfectly roasted and eaten because they are not acidic; moreover, they are delicious, and their flavor is exquisite.
The result is delicious if accompanied by the traditional romesco sauce, made from tomato, garlic, ñoras, bread, oil, and other spices! But this wonderful romesco sauce, which you will surely want to integrate into other recipes, also contains hazelnuts, ground, and toasted almonds.
- 20 to 25 calçots per person.
- 500 grams of romesco sauce.
- Meats and sausages of your choice.
Calçots are quickly cooked over an open fire, so roasting them is no problem. As they are seasonal dishes usually eaten in the winter months, many people take the opportunity to make them even in the fireplace. It is an art to make Catalan calçots!
- For the calçots, place the grill directly over the fire and set the calçots on it. You don't have to do them individually; you can put up to 25 together, depending on the grill size.
- You should wait until the outside is charred. When the white part turns black, it is time to remove them from the grill.
- Then, very carefully, wrap the calçots in newspaper and press them, so they do not come off.
- You should leave the wrapped calçots to cook in their own steam for another 30 minutes.
- Once the calçots are ready, it is time to serve them to the guests with their romesco sauce and enjoy.
- To serve the calçots, you can do it directly in the newspaper, although it is also possible to put them in a dish.
How to make romesco sauce?
We have already mentioned that calçots are eaten with a delicious romesco sauce. And how is this traditional sauce made?
- Three ripe tomatoes.
- A head of garlic.
- Two ñoras.
- 15 grams of toasted almonds.
- 15 grams of toasted hazelnut.
- A slice of toasted bread.
- 250 grams of extra virgin olive oil.
- 100 grams of vinegar.
- One chili pepper.
- Sweet paprika.
- Coarse salt.
- The first thing to do is to soak the peppers the night before preparing the sauce. Then, remove the seeds and reserve the skin together with the meat.
- Roast the tomatoes and garlic on the fire or in the oven. If you use barbecue, which you can do while preparing the calçots, then it is necessary to wrap the tomato and garlic in aluminum foil. If you bake them in the oven, preheat them to 200º C and place both separately. The tomatoes only need 15 minutes, and the garlic, half the time.
- Remove the skin from the tomatoes.
- Remove the garlic cloves and peel.
- Clean the ñoras, removing the seeds and leaving the flesh.
- Peel the almonds and hazelnuts.
- Toast a slice of bread.
- When the tomatoes and garlic are cold, it is time to place them in a glass or food processor along with the olive oil, vinegar, and the rest of the ingredients.
- Finally, add a teaspoon of red pepper, salt, and a pinch of chili pepper.
- Blend again.
- Rectify if necessary. When preparing this delicious sauce, it is essential to keep tasting it to know if you need more salt, more or less vinegar, and even if you should add more bread.
Finally, if you want the romesco sauce to be more liquid, add one more tomato to the mixture and enjoy.
How do you eat calçots?
Eating calçots is an art. The calçots are eaten by removing the charred part to taste the delicious and tender onion. The whitest part of the calçots is soaked in the romesco sauce and eaten.
On the other hand, we must tell you that the calçots are eaten accompanied by roasted meat, which is best prepared in the same embers in which the calçots were made; the flavor is delicious! They are accompanied by lamb ribs or typical Spanish sausages of the most diverse: sausage, blood sausage, bacon, or bacon.