Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter February 3, 2012
| A couple of years ago we came upon a calçotada, which is a winter festival of the Catalan scallion called “calçot”. Calçots are large onions which have not been harvested in the first year; they are left in the ground and then sprout the following season. In the 1800’s, a farmer in the town of Valls began cultivating them in a method called calçar, (in Catalan, meaning “put your shoes on”). The sprouts are covered with earth so that they remain white, similiar to the method of growing white asparagus and harvested November through April.
To me, the traditional method of cooking calçots over a flaming barbeque seems just perfect for a Super Bowl party. Especially if you’re also grilling chicken wings, which would be an excellent accompaniment. Here, instead of calçots you’ll need to use large green onions unless you know a farmer who has some sprouted onions coming up. To cook, grill the onions on the hot barbeque, turning so that each side gets blackened, until the inside becomes soft. Keep them warm by wrapping in newspaper and serve immediately. The blackened outer leaves are pulled away and the soft center is dipped in Romesco Sauce before eating. We stock Romesco Sauce in jars, or you can make it fresh (see recipe below). Romesco Sauce is also delicious with chicken wings.
It’s essential to wear a bib, as spills are frequent and part of the fun. And as long as you have a bib on, why not drink your wine from a porron? We’ve got three sizes of porrons in stock.
Grilled lamb meat, Portuguese Linguiça or Spanish pork sausages are also wonderful with calçots.