Escalivada of Roast Vegetables

Escalivada of Roast Vegetables

Daria Souvorova

1 hour
serves: 8-12

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When I first started reading about Catalan food, this is the dish that I kept seeing at the top of every “you must try this” dish. This easy and rustic dish is very satisfying. It works beautifully on its own, or as a pairing to a series of other dishes, or perhaps a platter of roast meats. I chose some of my favorite vegetables to roast, but, you can change up the vegetables by season. Perhaps some asparagus and summer squash in the warmer months. Or leeks in the winter? The best part, you can make this ahead and serve it chilled! This is an amazing quality for a dinner where you are preparing several dishes.

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Ever since our trip to Barcelona last December, I have been planning and daydreaming about cooking Catalan food for our friends. After a month of menu-planning and experiments, I was ready!

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We had a bunch of friends over for a four course Catalan dinner this Saturday, and I think it was one of our best efforts. In traditional Spanish fashion, we did not want to serve the main course until late, so we served the courses slowly and did not finish dessert before midnight. Doesn’t everyone love a good 5 hour dinner every once in a while?

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I loved eating Manchengo and Iberico Ham in Barcelona, so I made sure to include them in our first course, with an assortment of olives, of course! We had the opportunity to try a variety of fish stews in Barcelona. The weather was scheduled to be quite chilly this weekend, so a stew sounded just right, I decided to serve it on toasted Ciabatta with our Catalan Sardines on Toast with Susquet. Seafood is a really important element in Catalan dishes, since the Northern Spain region harvests seafood and relies on it.

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To keep the seafood starters going, we also served Mussels in Escabeche, a mixture of seafood, veggies, and acid. Delicious!

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For our second course, I am proud to say that we hosted our own traditional Calçotada!  Calçots are similar to green onions and leeks and are in season in the Catalan region for a short time during the winter.  From January to April, Catalans feast and celebrate these mild green onions by grilling them up on a fire and serving them with a delicious Romesco sauce made of fire roasted peppers, tomatoes, almonds, and toasted bread.

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Our main course, served at 10:30pm in Spanish fashion was a pretty impressive effort, if I do say so myself. We had a Rabbit and Artichoke Paella, a Squid Ink Rice with Prawns, an Escalivada of beautiful veggies, and Sea Bass roasted in a salt shell served with a delicious citrusy salad of Oranges, Radicchio and Pickled Red Onions.

At midnight, we finished our meal with a traditional Crema Catalana, a Brazo de Gitano filled with Persimmon Jam and Whipped Cream, and a simple but delicious Homemade Fresh Cheese with Honey (Mel & Mato).

I am incredibly proud of this meal and look forward to sharing the rest of the recipes with you in the coming days, so stay tuned and enjoy the Mussels in Escabeche recipe below!

Ingredients:

    • 4 red or orange bell peppers
    • 4 medium potatoes, or a pound and a half of small potatoes
    • 2 onions, whole, unpeeled
    • 4 medium eggplants
    • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled + 8 cloves garlic,
      peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
    • 8 ripe tomatoes
    • olive oil
    • 4 artichokes
    • salt and pepper
    • juice of two lemons

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      1. blacken the bell peppers over an open flame. I place two on top of each burner on my stove top and turn them every few minutes until they are blackened on all sides. It should take around 10 minutes or so.
        Place in a large plastic bag to cool.
        Once cooled, peel off the blackened skin.
        Remove the seeds and stem.
        Slice into strips. Set aside.
      2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
        Wrap the potatoes in foil. If using large potatoes, separately, if small, wrap them all up together.
        Wrap the onions in aluminum foil.
        Using a sharp knife, make a seam in hte eggplants and stuff with the sliced garlic.
        Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and arrange potatoes, eggplants,
        tomatoes, garlic heads, and onions on the cookie sheet.
        Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and eggplant.
        Bake for about 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your produce. Check on them every 20 minutes and remove from the oven as they cook through and soften.
      3. Meanwhile, steam artichokes for about 20-30 minutes until tender.
      4. Once cooled, peel the onion and sliver.
        Peel the garlic to retrieve the cooked cloves.
        Cut or tear eggplant into strips.
        Arrange all of the veggies on a platter.
        Season with salt and pepper.
        Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
        Serve warm or at room temperature.

     

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