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Definitive recipe to prepare calcots: step by step and with romesco sauce

February 20, 2023
Restaurant Pasa Tapas

If there is something that locals love as much as paella and cava, it is calçots. These tender, sweet and elongated onions are a real delicacy that can be found anywhere in the city. In addition, their season coincides with winter and early spring, which makes them a perfect delicacy to enjoy on cold days.

But how do you prepare calçots? Below, we show you the definitive recipe to make them at home. And to make the experience complete, we'll also teach you how to make romesco sauce, a traditional condiment that can't be missing from any calcotada table.

The history of calçots in Barcelona

Before starting with the recipe, it is interesting to know a little more about the history of calcots in Barcelona. Calcots are a variety of sweet onion that was grown in the Alt Camp region, in the province of Tarragona. It was in the 1960s when a farmer called Xat de Benaiges had the idea of roasting them in a bonfire so that the outer layer was burnt and the inner part was steamed.

The idea was so successful that it became a tradition in the region and spread throughout Catalonia. Today, calcots are a typical dish of Catalan cuisine and its tasting season is a real social event that gathers friends and family around the table.

Preparation of the calçots:

  1. Buy fresh calçots. Make sure they are long and straight, unblemished and uniform in color.
  2. Clean the calçots. Remove the first layer of leaves, but leave the outermost ones to protect them during cooking.
  3. Roast the calçots. To do this, place them on a grill or rack over coals or in the oven at 250 degrees Celsius. Turn them every 5 minutes so that they roast evenly. The cooking time is about 20 minutes, or until they are soft.
  4. Serve the calçots. Once they are roasted, wrap them in newspaper to keep them warm and let them finish cooking in their own steam. Then, place them on a platter and serve them with the romesco sauce.

Preparation of the romesco sauce:

  1. Toast the almonds and hazelnuts. You can do it in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes, or in a frying pan without oil.
  2. Crush the nuts with the bread crumbs, tomato, garlic, salt and paprika.
  3. Add olive oil little by little while continuing to blend, until a thick sauce is obtained.
  4. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water to thin it to the desired consistency.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust salt and paprika to taste.

Now that you know how to make the calçots and the romesco sauce, you just have to enjoy an authentic calçotada.

And if you prefer to leave the cooking in the hands of experts, we invite you to visit our restaurant, where you can taste this delicacy and other Catalan specialties. Pasa Tapaswhere you can taste this delicacy and other specialties of Catalan cuisine, we are waiting for you! Book directly from this link.