I am very excited to share this recipe with you. It showcases how a few simple, yet complimentary, ingredients can really pack a flavourful punch. Perfect for a light meal or accompaniment.
‘Escalivada’ is traditionally cooked over hot coals or wood embers, which imbues an earthy smokiness to the dish. The name originates from the Catalan verb escalivar meaning ‘to cook in ashes’.
Now I understand that not everyone has access to a firepit (although an outdoor pizza oven would work!) thus I have simplified the method for you to cook this dish in your oven at home. You won’t have quite the same smokey flavour, but it will be just as delicious because you made it yourself!
Of course, you can cook your vegetables on a barbeque or – if you’re feeling adventurous – directly over a gas burner on your stove top. Just make sure you line the hot plate with aluminium foil before you begin for easy cleanup.
Here is my (oven-method) take on this Catalan classic.
I hope you enjoy it, Raquel x
NOTE: 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.
“Escalivada”: Ash-Roasted Vegetables (Oven Method)
Serves 4 -6 or makes enough topping for two (11″) Spanish Pizzas *see Coca de Recapte Recipe*
Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free
- 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 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.
Depending on how your oven disperses heat…
- 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.
These roasted vegetables can be served on their own with some crusty bread or as a side to a main dish – I use these vegetables for my Spanish Pizza *Coca de Recapte* in Episode 3 of Winery Kitchen.
This dish is exciting to match with wine because it pairs very well with a broad range of delicious reds, depending on how the vegetables have been prepared and what you are serving them with. Nightshade veg (tomatoes, capsicum/peppers and eggplant) match very well with medium-weight reds. This Escalivada on its own with crusty bread would pair wonderfully with our 2018 Pinot Gris or our ethereal 2017 Shiraz, reminiscent of a Côtes du Rhône.
In the mood for something slightly more structured? Serve the Escalivada alongside pork, lamb or beef and pair the meal with our bright and sophisticated 2018 (Young Gun) Shiraz.
If you have been more adventurous and roasted the vegetables traditionally over wood/coals or on the BBQ, our weightier 2017 Limited Shiraz would stand up well to the smokiness, as would the dark fruit and tobacco flavours within our cool climate 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon.
I hope you enjoy! Raquel x