I love a salad as much as the next person but I have to be honest: this time of year I’m not in the mood for a big bowl of lettuce. I do, however, appreciate the flavor of roasted and grilled vegetables just about anytime. When you serve them as a salad, they’re called escalivada.
Escalivada is a traditional Catalan dish which normally includes eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions simply dressed with olive oil and salt. The name derives from the original cooking method which involved cooking the whole vegetables in the ashes of a fire. (Wiki)
One thing about escalivada is it can be served at any temperature although I prefer it room temperature or a little warmer. This means you can roast the veggies ahead of time and have them ready. If you already plan to cook something in the oven, you can make it do double duty by roasting a tray of veggies at the same time. You could make your grill do double duty, too.
If you don’t happen to have any ashes handy you can easily grill or roast your veggies to make escalivada. Serve it as a tapa, a salad, a side or a light meal. There aren’t any rules about serving escalivada; as you can see from these photos the presentation varies from the elaborate to the rustic. Do what makes you happy.
Eating escalivada with some bread and olives makes me happy 🙂
Ingredients for two people:
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/2 onion
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 large bell pepper, any color or combination
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- vinegar, we used a sherry vinegar
- optional for roasting: garlic, leeks, endive, mushrooms
- optional for adding to the platter: anchovies, tuna, olives
- Preheat the oven to 400°
- You can peel and cut the veggies after they are roasted or before, it’s up to you. I cut mine and then peel the skin from the peppers afterwards.
- Arrange the veggies on a baking sheet and drizzle generously with olive oil.
- It will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for the veggies to cook through. It depends on how they’re cut. Make sure to check and remove any that are ready. They don’t have to finish at the same time.
- To serve, arrange the veggies artistically on a platter, drizzle with more olive oil and vinegar. Use enough oil and vinegar so that some pools on the plate without drowning the food. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Try the leftovers on a nice roll spread with cream cheese.