Grilled Spring Onion Shoots With Romesco Sauce

Calgots Con Salsa Romesco


serves 4
40 large spring onions or salad onions, with large bulbous white sections
2 tablespoons olive oil coarse sea salt

salsa romesco

20 blanched almonds, toasted in a dry frying pan
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and blanched in cold water until soft, then peeled and chopped
2 dried chillies such as romesco or nora, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes, then deseeded and chopped, or 2 roasted red peppers from a jar
3 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
2 teaspoons sweet paprika (pimenton dulce)
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
125 nil red wine vinegar
250 ml olive oil
sea salt and finely ground black pepper


1. To make the salsa romesco, grind the almonds very finely in a clean coffee grinder. Put the ground almonds, garlic, chillies, tomatoes, paprika, chilli flakes and vinegar in a blender or food processor, then puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper, then drizzle in the oil gradually, with the motor running. Transfer to a small bowl.

2. Preheat a ridged stove-top grill pan or barbecue. Toss the spring onions in olive oil and salt, then grill until blackened and charred on the outside. Remove from the pan, then wrap in newspaper for 25 minutes until softened further. Serve with the salsa romesco and finger bowls, napkins and the traditional bibs if you want.

Note Fatter, more bulbous spring onions are often sold in supermarkets as 'salad onions'. Middle Eastern shops also stock very large varieties. Failing that, buy the largest spring onions you can find and decrease the cooking time.
If you don't have a coffee grinder, use ground almonds instead, although the sauce will lack a certain toasty flavour.

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