Calçotada The Spanish Green Onion Festival
My friend, TJ, recently visited Spain, and while he was there he attended calçotada. Calçotada is a green onion festival that attracts thousands of visitors each spring to the Catalonia region.
Calçots, small, flavorful green onions, are grilled on a flaming barbeque until they are blackened and tender and then served with a variety of popular Spanish dipping sauces on the side. The eaters peel away the blackened skin and enjoy these barbequed onions by the dozen.
This past week, our culinary team has been grilling calçots at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center with the fresh green onions from our garden. They have been extraordinary. After being grilled over an open flame the green onions become mild and sweet with a slight smoky flavor.
We serve ours with a savory romesco sauce on the side which also adds a bit of spice. These grilled green onions are wonderful paired with a smooth red wine, such as the Kendall-Jackson Vinter’s Reserve Merlot. Below is our recipe for Calçots with Romeso Sauce. Enjoy!
- 4 red peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup almonds
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. harissa (hot chili sauce)
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the grill and preheat the oven to 325º.
- Grill the red peppers until the skins are charred and black. Remove the peppers from the grill and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Uncover and peel the skin off the peppers. Remove the seeds and rinse.
- In a small oven-proof dish, add the garlic. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and soft.
- In a dry saute pan, toast the hazelnuts and almonds until light brown.
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.