Photo by Nadia Feddo
Calçots cooking over an open fire
CALÇOTS WITH SALVITXADA (serves 4)
Impress your friends by serving them calçots with homemade salvitxada. All the better if you have a barbecue, but if not, the oven will do just fine. Chef Cándido Cid from Barcelona Cooking school (www.barcelonacooking.net) shares his favourite way to prepare this seasonal Catalan favourite.
To prepare the calçots, take off any rough outer leaves, trim the green stems and cut off the very tip of the base (be careful not to cut off too much or the calçot will fall apart). Wash the calçots thoroughly then lay them side-by-side in an oven tray. Drizzle some olive oil over them and season with salt. Bake in the oven at min 220º for about 15 minutes or until the skins have darkened.
3 dried sweet red peppers 30 gr. almonds
2 onions A cup of oil
3 tomatoes A slice of stale bread
A bulb of garlic 2/3 tbsp of sherry vinegar
30 gr. hazelnuts Salt to taste
Halve the onions and garlic bulbs and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil, season with salt, then cover with foil and bake in the oven at 180º for 30-40 minutes. At the same time, on another tray, halve the tomatoes, drizzle with oil, season with salt and bake for 30-40 minutes uncovered.
Soak the dried peppers in warm water for 10 minutes, then extract the flesh by scraping out the skin inside with a knife. Toast the almonds, hazelnuts and the bread in the oven or in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Then, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and blend them, adding a little oil and vinegar at a time until you have a smooth paste. Salt to taste.