I’m so fond of this Spanish escalivada.
Pretty sure this colorful dish is the very first dish that I tasted when I visited Barcelona for the very first time at least 10 years ago. And I remember that I was so charmed by its pure simplicity and delicate taste. It was only after I got back home that I found this recipe in a Spanish cookbook I had simply sitting on my bookshelf for a long time.
Escalivar is a Spanish verb which means ‘to char’ by the way. And by the looks of it I guess that says enough about this dish.So what is it exactly?
Escalivada is a Catalonian salad of grilled or roasted mixed vegetables such as eggplant, bell pepper and onions. But I have also seen versions that contain cooked potatoes and even roast tomatoes. I bet that it tastes just as good! This cold vegetable salad is a great side dish for (grilled) meat or poultry. I usually serve it with my Spanish pickled quails in escabeche.
Escalivada (Spanish Roasted Vegetables)
You can add whatever garnish you want on top.
I saw this dish several times with canned anchovy fillets, black or green olives, finely chopped raw onion or tiny pickled capers. Those are the most traditional toppings. I have even tasted escalivada with roasted almonds sprinkled on top once, that was a great crunchy twist as well.
And there’s another way to serve the roasted vegetables: on a piece of grilled Catalonian flatbread (coca) topped with romesco sauce, a delicious and rich Catalonian sauce of pureed almonds and tomatoes.
- 1 large fresh eggplant
- 3 red bell peppers
- 2 medium onions
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 8 black olives
- 8 canned anchovy fillets in oil
- olive oil
1. First of all wrap the eggplant, bell peppers and onions separately in tinfoil and put them on an oven rack.
2. Roast the vegetables in a preheated oven at 428°F (220°C) for about 45 minutes. In the end turn off the oven but leave the vegetables in it for another 30 minutes until totally soft.
3. Then take the vegetables out of the oven and carefully remove the tinfoil. Peel away the skin on the bell peppers and remove the stems and seeds inside. Slice the bell peppers and the other vegetables into portions.
4. Sprinkle a baking dish with some olive oil and a dash of pepper and salt. Add the vegetables. Drizzle with more olive oil, the white wine vinegar and extra pepper and salt.
5. Place the dish in the fridge for a couple of hours until chilled and marinated, preferably overnight. Serve at room temperature.