Calçots and Romesco Sauce

Title: Calçots and Romesco Sauce

From: Anothony Bourdain in Spain


2 bunchs onions, green or 4 bunch large scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed
Salt, coarse (kosher or sea), to taste
Romesco Sauce, for serving
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat the grill to high.

2. When ready to cook, arrange the onions on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until charred all over, 8 to 12 minutes (scallions will take less time than green onions). Season the onions with plenty of salt as they cook. Wrap the charred onions in a thick layer of paper towels (or use newspaper as they do in Spain). Let rest for 15 minutes.

3. Unwrap the onions and pick away the charred skin with your fingers. Serve warm with Romesco Sauce for dipping or drizzle with oil and pepper and pop them into your mouth. Serves 4.

Romesco Sauce:

3 dried anorra chiles or 1 ancho or pasilla chile
1 red bell pepper, small
2 tomatoes, large, or 3 medium, fresh, ripe
5 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons almonds, whole, blanched or unblanched
1 onion, small, quartered
1/3 cup olive oil
1 slice white bread, country-style
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place the chiles in a bowl and add warm water to cover. Soak until soft and pliable, about 30 minutes.

2. Drain the chiles, reserving the soaking liquid; blot dry with paper towels. If a milder sauce is desired, remove the seeds.

3. Preheat the grill to high.

4. When ready to cook, preheat a vegetable grate for 5 minutes. Brush the bell pepper and tomatoes with oil and grill until the skins are nicely charred, 10 to 15 minutes in all. Toss the garlic, almonds, and onion pieces with 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small bowl, then arrange these ingredients on the hot grate and cook, turning with a spatula, until each is nicely browned and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes for the almonds, 4 to 8 minutes for the vegetables. Brush the bread on both sides with oil and grill until nicely browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Grill the soaked and drained chiles until crisp and fragrant, about 20 seconds per side. As they are done, transfer the grilled almonds, vegetables, bread, and chiles to a platter and let cool.

5. Remove any very charred skin from the tomatoes and peppers; core and seed the peppers. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or food processor and purée to a smooth paste. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, almonds, bread, chiles, bay leaf, parsley, vinegar, remaining olive oil, and salt and black pepper. Process until smooth, adding enough of the reserved chile soaking liquid to make a pourable sauce. Correct the seasoning, adding salt or vinegar as necessary.

6. Serve the sauce at room temperature; it will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Makes about 2 cups.


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Filed under anthony bourdain, grilled, onion, sauce, spanish

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