Steps by steps making Calçots with Romesco Sauce

On a recent expedition through the heart of Catalonia, I was introduced to a culinary delight that struck a chord with my love for traditional dishes: Calçots with Romesco Sauce. This dish is a beautiful testament to the region’s knack for combining simple ingredients to create profound flavors. At its core lie the smoky sweetness of grilled calçots and the rich complexity of Romesco sauce, made uniquely flavorful with ñora peppers and Marcona almonds. These ingredients come together to form a dish that is both rustic and refined, offering a symphony of textures and tastes. Captivated by this delightful pairing, I embarked on a mission to master it. Through diligent research and culinary experimentation, I’ve managed to replicate the authentic taste of this Catalan classic. It gives me immense pleasure to share this recipe with you, inviting you to partake in the joy of crafting Calçots with Romesco Sauce, a journey that promises to inspire and satisfy with every bite.

Calçots with Romesco Sauce

Calçots with Romesco Sauce is a celebratory dish deeply entrenched in the heart of Catalan culture, epitomizing communal dining and the joys of simple, flavorsome eating. At its core, this dish features calçots, which are tender spring onions charred to perfection, offering a beautiful blend of sweetness and smokiness. These are then dipped into and enjoyed with Romesco Sauce, a delectable concoction birthed in Catalonia, known for its rich, nutty flavors derived from ñora peppers, plum tomatoes, garlic, almonds, and olive oil. The sauce's mildly spicy and tangy undertones perfectly complement the soft, sweet calçots, creating a harmonious symphony of tastes that dance on the palate.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4
Calories 125 kcal


  • 1 small pan
  • 1 oven


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 3 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 12 Marcona almonds
  • 1 slice crusty bread
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 12 hazelnuts
  • 2 ñora peppers


  • Chop the tomato in half and arrange them on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Grill the tomatoes for 6 – 8 minutes in the oven after placing the pan in the oven.
  • Fry the nuts and walnuts in a small pan and put them aside.
  • Garlic cloves should be peeled. In the same pan, heat one tablespoon olive oil and cook the peppers.
  • Remove the item and put it away.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook four garlic cloves for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the equation. Fry the bread slice on both sides.
  • First, crush the raw cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle.
  • Using the pestle, crush the fried cloves of garlic in.
  • Mash in the flesh of the ora peppers.
  • Then, pounding after each step, add the parsley, almonds, and bread.
  • Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and coarsely slice them. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Toss in the vinegar and stir well.
  • To allow the burned calçots to sweat, wrap them in the newspaper.
  • Serve them with the sauce on a terracotta dish.
Keyword hazelnuts, ñora peppers

Cooking tips about Calçots with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Calçots and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

  • Selecting Calçots: Look for fresh, firm calçots. If authentic calçots are unavailable in your area, large spring onions can serve as a suitable substitute, though the taste may slightly differ. The key is the freshness and quality of the onions.
  • Grilling Technique: Calçots should be grilled over an open flame or barbecue until they are charred on the outside. This charring not only imparts a subtle smokiness but also makes the inside tender and succulent. Ensure you turn them occasionally for an even char without fully burning them.
  • Preparing Romesco Sauce: The heart of this dish lies in its Romesco sauce – a blend of roasted ñora peppers, almonds (preferably Marcona), garlic, olive oil, and a piece of toasted bread to thicken. Vinegar and smoked paprika add depth and a slight tang. Each ingredient should be carefully prepared and combined into a smooth, rich sauce. Toasting the almonds and roasting the garlic and tomatoes can significantly enhance the sauce’s flavor profile.
  • Serving and Enjoyment: Traditionally, calçots are served on a terracotta tile, wrapped in newspaper to keep them warm, and accompanied by a generous serving of Romesco sauce for dipping. Eating calçots is a hands-on affair—expect to get messy as the outer charred layer is peeled away to reveal the tender inner flesh, which is then dipped into the Romesco sauce.
  • Accompaniments: To round out the meal, consider serving the calçots and sauce with slices of rustic bread and a selection of grilled meats or sausages, emulating a typical Catalan feast.
  • Wine Pairing: Choose a Spanish wine to complement the meal. A white wine like Xarel·lo from Penedès or a light red such as a young Grenache will balance the flavors beautifully.
  • Final Touches: Offering bibs and plenty of napkins is a thoughtful touch, as enjoying calçots can be wonderfully messy. Encourage guests to dive in and enjoy the process, echoing the convivial spirit of a true Catalan Calçotada.

Serving suggestions about Calçots with Romesco Sauce

Calçots Sauce Recipe | Romesco Ca Rosset

  • Traditional Presentation: Embrace the rustic charm of Catalonia by serving the calçots on terracotta tiles or large platters, just as you might find in a traditional Catalan “Calçotada”. This not only keeps them warm but also adds to the authenticity of your presentation.
  • Hands-on Dining: Encourage guests to dive into the hands-on experience of peeling the charred outer layers of the calçots to reach the tender, sweet interior. It’s this interactive element that makes eating Calçots with Romesco Sauce so memorable.
  • Provide Bibs and Napkins: Given the messy joy of consuming calçots, offering bibs and plenty of napkins will help guests enjoy the meal fully without concern over spills or stains, keeping the focus on the fun and flavors.
  • Serve Plenty of Romesco Sauce: The Romesco sauce is integral to the dish, providing a rich, nutty counterpoint to the sweetness of the calçots. Ensure there’s a generous amount of sauce for dipping, ideally served in individual bowls for easy access.
  • Include Side Dishes: Complement the calçots with side dishes that round out the meal, such as slices of rustic bread, a fresh salad, or even a selection of grilled meats and vegetables, celebrating the bounty of the region.
  • Wine Pairing: No Catalan meal is complete without the perfect wine pairing. Opt for a local Catalan wine, such as a crisp white or a light-bodied red, to beautifully complement the meal’s flavors.
  • End with a Light Dessert: Finish off your feast on a sweet note with a simple, refreshing dessert. Consider offering something traditionally Catalan, like Crema Catalana, or a selection of fresh fruits to cleanse the palate.

Top 5 FAQs about Calçots with Romesco Sauce

Romesco sauce with calçots, from Cataluña to the world - MAMA ÍA

  • What distinguishes calçots from other types of onions? Calçots are a particular variety of spring onion unique to Catalonia, prized for their delicate sweetness and tenderness. Unlike regular onions, calçots are grown in a way that promotes a longer, slender shape and a milder taste, making them ideal for grilling and dipping.
  • What gives Romesco Sauce its distinctive flavor? Romesco Sauce is a beloved accompaniment with deep roots in Catalan culinary traditions, renowned for its rich, complex flavor profile. The sauce gets its distinctiveness from the unique blend of roasted ñora peppers, almonds (typically Marcona), ripe plum tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. This combination, along with a touch of vinegar and spices, results in a sauce that’s tangy, nutty, and slightly smoky, perfectly complementing the sweetness of the calçots.
  • How are calçots prepared and served in traditional settings? Traditionally, calçots are grilled over an open flame until their exterior is charred, then wrapped in newspaper to keep them warm and to make peeling easier. This method enhances their natural sweetness while adding a hint of smokiness. They’re usually served on a terracotta tile or large platter with plenty of Romesco Sauce for dipping, embodying communal dining.
  • Can I make Calçots with Romesco Sauce if I don’t have access to authentic calçots? Yes, while authentic calçots are preferred for their unique taste and texture, large spring onions can be used as a substitute if calçots are not available. The key to achieving a similar flavor lies in the grilling technique and the quality of the Romesco Sauce.
  • Are there any dietary considerations for those wanting to enjoy Calçots with Romesco Sauce? This dish is inherently vegetarian and gluten-free, which makes it suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences. However, those with nut allergies should take caution or modify the Romesco sauce, as traditional recipes include almonds. For vegans, ensure that no animal-based ingredients are added to the sauce.

Calçots with Romesco Sauce is not just a meal; it’s a celebration of tradition, camaraderie, and the simple joys of eating well. Rooted deeply in Catalan culture, this dish offers more than just the sumptuous taste of grilled onions dipped in a savory, complex sauce. It represents a communal experience, reminiscent of sunny days, laughter-filled gatherings, and the shared pleasure of peeling, dipping, and enjoying food together. As we bring this recipe into our kitchens, we do more than prepare a meal; we invite a piece of Catalan heritage into our homes, fostering connections over plates of charred calçots and rich Romesco sauce. Whether for a special occasion or a casual weekend feast, Calçots with Romesco Sauce stands as a testament to the enduring beauty of regional cuisines and the ways they can bring us together, transcending boundaries and creating memories that linger long after the last bite.


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