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Calçot Onions with Romesco Sauce

  • Feeds 3 - 4 people
  • Prep time 15m
  • Cook time 25m

Calçots are mild, sweet onions from Valls in Catalonia. They’re cooked over fire until completely blackened, then wrapped in newspaper to steam. Traditionally,calçots would be consumed at a calçotada - a winter food festival where people come together to eat lots of the onions straight after they are harvested, together with grilled meats and plenty of wine. 

Peel away the black skin of the calçots to reveal the sweet onion inside, dip them into the romesco then eat whole! It is a messy business but a lot of fun.

  1. Light the barbecue and when it is ready, char the red peppers until black all over, then cover tightly and set aside (this will help the skins come off easily).
  2. Wash any dirt or grit off the calçots and cook until black all over - around 8 minutes. Wrap them in newspaper in bundles of 4 or 5 and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the skins from the peppers by holding them under running water and washing the skins away.
  4. Toast the almonds in a dry pan then remove and set aside.
  5. Skin the tomatoes by making a cross shape in the bottom of each one then covering with boiling water for a few minutes. Drain, then plunge into cold water and leave for a minute. The skins should now peel off easily.
  6. Place the almonds and tomatoes in a blender with the remaining ingredients and a generous amount of salt and pulse to a coarsely textured sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with the calçots.

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