'Escalivada’ (Ash-Roasted Vegetables)

Gluten Free · Dairy Free · Vegan Friendly · Vegetarian

24 Feb · Written by Raquel Jones


I'm absolutely thrilled to share this recipe with you because it brilliantly demonstrates how a handful of simple yet harmonious ingredients can create a burst of delightful flavours.

It's an ideal choice for a light meal or as a delectable accompaniment to various dishes.

The dish we're diving into is known as 'Escalivada,' a traditional Catalan masterpiece that typically embraces the enchanting essence of hot coals or wood embers. This unique cooking method imparts an earthy smokiness that elevates the flavours to new heights.

The very name 'Escalivada' originates from the Catalan verb 'escalivar,' which translates to 'to cook in ashes,' paying homage to its rustic cooking roots.

Now, I recognise that not everyone has access to a fire-pit (although an outdoor pizza oven would work wonders!)—which is precisely why I've streamlined the preparation method, allowing you to create this dish effortlessly right in your home oven. While it may not capture the exact smokiness of its traditional counterpart, I assure you it will be equally delightful, especially since you've crafted it with your own hands.

Of course, if you're feeling adventurous and have a barbecue or even a gas burner on your stove, you can explore alternative cooking methods. Just remember to line the hot plate with aluminium foil for easy cleanup.

So here it is, my take on this Catalan classic using the oven method.

Bon Profit! Raquel x

'Escalivada’ (Ash-Roasted Vegetables)

Serves 4 -6 (or makes enough topping for two (11") Spanish Pizzas *see Coca Recipe*


  • 2 large red capsicum, cut into quarters and deseeded
  • 2 medium eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and rubbed with a drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 large brown onions, peeled, quartered and tossed with a drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp 'good' extra virgin olive oil, for dressing
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, for roasting
  • 1-2 tsp salt


Note: You will need to roast each vegetable on a separate tray/dish because they each have different cooking times.

  • Turn your oven on to 220°c (fan-forced is fine)
  • Combine garlic and 'good' extra virgin olive oil in a medium bowl and allow garlic to infuse oil.
  • Place capsicum quarters skin side up on a lined baking tray, ensuring pieces don't fit too snugly.
  • Place the eggplant halves skin side down on a separate lined baking tray and carefully score flesh in a diamond cross-hatch pattern.
  • Scatter quartered onions onto a separate tray or oven-safe dish.
  • Place all vegetables in the oven and allow to bake for approximately 25 minutes.

You want the capsicum skins to blacken slightly and blister, the eggplant to soften enough to scoop out and the onions to soften and blacken sightly.

So now, depending on how your oven disperses heat, use the following guide:

  • After 25-30 mins, check onions and remove from oven if ready.
  • After 30-35 mins, check capsicum and if ready, remove from the oven and carefully cover the capsicums with 1 or 2 freezer bags and leave to steam for 20 mins.
  • After 45-50 mins, check eggplant and if sufficiently softened remove from oven.
  • Break up onion layers and add to bowl with the garlic and oil infusement.
  • Return to capsicum, remove and discard skins. Slice capsicum into 1 cm wide strips and add to bowl with onion.
  • Return to eggplant and scoop out all flesh. Slice flesh into strips/pieces and add to bowl with other vegetables.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp salt over vegetables and mix together, coating well with the garlic-infused oil.
  • Do not be tempted to add more salt now. Let flavours marry for at least 30 mins.
  • After 30 mins taste for salt - if you believe it needs more - you can safely add more at this point.


Can I freeze these vegetables for later use?

Yes, you can freeze this dish to use at a later stage. Simply avoid adding the crushed garlic and top up with some additional olive oil so that the vegetables are submerged - this will prevent freezer burn. 


These roasted vegetables are incredibly versatile, perfect on their own or as a flavourful addition to a tapas spread. They also pair beautifully with a variety of protein

Escalivada is a key ingredient in one of mySpanish Pizza Recipes.

For wine pairings, consider medium-weight reds with the Escalivada and crusty bread, or opt for ourchardonnay, pinot gris, or roséwhen serving it with lighter meats or fish. For heartier meat dishes, ourshiraz or Reserve Syrahare excellent choices.