Warm weather turns the foothills of the Sierra Nevada into a very Mediterranean kind of place. We produce fantastic Spanish style red wines and olives, and our tastes tend to tip toward that region in our cooking. So on this our first truly warm weather weekend of spring we are going to celebrate in Catalonian style, with a very special kind of barbeque.
Step one: Throw a few dozen calcot (whole spring onions) over some hot coals until they are charred on the outside. Here are some I just picked up from the farmer’s market to supplement the bushel coming right out of my neighbor Gina’s garden.
Step two: Pour Spanish red wine (I’m going with a couple 90-point Tempranillos) into your face from a pitcher.
Step three: wrap your charred calcots in newspaper and let them steam for a few minutes, which will make them sweet and tender.
Step four: Pour more red wine in your face. Como este.
Step five: take a cooked calcot by the green stems, pull off the charred outer layer, exposing the tender white onion bulb underneath. Dredge it through a bowl of smoky, garlicky, peppery romesco sauce. Hold it up, tip your head back, and lower it into your mouth in one big messy bite. (Pictures of this step to come!)
Repeat all five steps until you can’t continue or you run out of stuff.
Recipe for Romesco Sauce
In the food processor, blend the following:
4 roasted, seeded and cored red bell peppers
2 roasted tomatoes
6 cloves roasted garlic
3/4 cup of slivered almonds
1 slice of toasted or stale sourdough bread
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp cayenne
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste