In Spain, there is a cousin of the spring onion called a calçot that is roasted black over grape vines, the burnt outer layer is peeled off and then the onion is dipped into a sweet and spicy red pepper and tomato sauce called romesco. This recipe is exactly the same, except we're using spring onions. It's best to eat these outside because of the mess, but if you peel them for your guests, you can enjoy them inside. Remember to only eat the white to light green parts of the onions as the green parts become a bit too stringy and tough to chew. —John Houser III
This recipe is by John Houser III was originally published in The Baltimore Sun.
- 4 bunches of large spring onions (approximately 20-24), root ends removed
- 2 red peppers
- 2 tomatoes
- 1/2 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 Cup toasted almonds
- 1/4 Cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 1 slice country bread, 1-inch thick
- 1 Ounce sherry vinegar (you can use apple cider as a substitute)
- 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 Teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 Cup water
Step 1: Get one half of your grill rocket hot. Place the white part of 4 bunches of spring onions over the fire. Grill until charred black all around the onion. Place the burnt onions into a paper shopping bag or wrap them in newspaper to steam out and cool down.
Step 2: Char 2 red peppers black over the grill and then place into a plastic bag or a covered heat-proof bowl to steam and cool.
Step 3: Slightly char 2 tomatoes and 1/2 large onion and move them to a grill-proof pan that is off of the fire. Bake in the covered grill for 45 minutes.
Step 4: When cool enough to touch, chop the onion and tomato into large chunks. Peel and seed the roasted red peppers.
Step 5: In a blender, combine the chopped onion and tomatoes with the roasted red peppers, 4 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup toasted almonds, 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 slice country bread, 1 ounce sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup water. Blend until saucy. You can make it chunky or smooth, it's your choice.
Step 6: Serve sauce immediately with the spring onions. To eat, just pinch the side of the onion, peel it and then dip it into the romesco sauce.