Recipe for traditional Calçots with Rustic Romesco Sauce
You can recreate the taste of Catalunya at home with this recipe for a very traditional and delicious feast. Just make sure you have got some napkins at the ready because it can get messy!
- 4 medium-size tomatoes
- 1 head garlic, halved
- 2 Tbs. plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1.5 oz blanched almonds
- 1.5 oz peeled hazelnuts
- 1 dried chilli, de-seeded and slit open
- 2 to 3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
- 2 Tbs. red wine
- salt to taste
As many Calçots or spring onions as you can manage!
Put the tomatoes, half of the head of garlic and a generous pouring of olive oil in a hot oven to roast for about an hour or until they start to caramelise. When they are golden, but not burnt, take the tray from the oven and leave it to cool.
Meanwhile toast all of the nuts in a pan with a little olive oil for a few moments, until they are just brown and then put them to one side to cool. Press the chilli into the pan for a few seconds on each side and then put it in a cup of hot water to hydrate for about 15 minutes.
Next put the nuts, chilli and the rest of the garlic (chopped) into the food processor. Blend for a few seconds then add the cooled tomatoes and garlic from the oven, season with a couple of pinches of salt and slowly add olive oil, while blending. Add the vinegar and red wine at the last second to give it extra flavour.
TIP: This sauce is supposed to be rustic and coarse so don’t blend it too much.
Calçots can be bought widely across Catalunya, but they maybe trickier to get hold of elsewhere. Many specialist grocers will stock them in season but if you cannot find any you can replace them with some good sized spring onions. Weather permitting, you need to barbeque them on an open flame until they are blackened on the outside but soft and white in the middle. You can use a regular oven grill if necessary.
Enjoy your feast the real Catalan way with plenty of friends and plenty of Cava!