There is a special Catalan delicacy that only grows from January to March in the Southern Catalonia region. If you’re in Barcelona during the spring season, there is no way you can miss out on some delicious calçots! Calçots are a seasonal vegetable similar to spring onions, leeks, or scallions. Many restaurants throughout Barcelona include calçots in their menus during the particular growing season. Traditionally, these vegetables are char-grilled on a barbecue until the outside leaves are blackened and the inside is soft. Then they are served with Remesco sauce and a glass of red wine or cava sparkling wine. Usually, a calçot meal will also include various types of meats and breads, so you can be sure to leave on a full stomach! If you don’t have access to your own barbecue, there are plenty of “merenderos” (picnic areas) you can find close to the city. There are also vineyards that supply the barbecue, firewood, and tables.
Calçots are super easy to prepare, considering the best way to do it is by placing them straight on the barbecue! No need to clean them or cut the roots off. Calçots should be cooked on top of large flames for about 5 minutes or more. When you start to see bubbles of juice coming out from beneath the blackened outer leaves, it means your calçots are ready to serve!
Remesco sauce recipe:
Remesco sauce is a creamy roasted pepper and almond spread. You can find Remesco sauce in pretty much every supermarket in Barcelona. However, if you want to prepare some delicious Remesco at home, it is really easy to make once you have all of the ingredients! Here is a super simple recipe for Remesco sauce…
- 12-oz jar of roasted red peppers
- 4-5 plum tomatoes
- 5 oz raw almonds
- 5 g fresh parsley
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- Lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients into a blender. Pulse until the texture is right for you (can be served chunky or smooth).