Catalonian Grilled Vegetable Salad
This salad is a specialty of Catalonia where it is known as escalivada, which means "to cook in ashes". That's why, for the most authentic smoky flavor, I recommend roasting the vegetables on a barbecue.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
- 1 eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs/750 g), sliced
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds
- 4 tomatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick rounds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 red finger chile, cut in paper-thin slices
- 1 tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground dried nora pepper or sweet paprika
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1 clove garlic, pureed
- 1/4 cup(60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1. Brush olive oil over eggplant, bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes. Place on preheated barbecue and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely charred. When bell peppers are done, place in a bowl and cover with a plate. Set aside to sweat. When cool, life off the skins, seed and cut into strips, reserving accumulated juices. When the onion is cool, cut the rounds into quarters.
- 2. Dressing: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, nora pepper and salt, stirring until salt is dissolved. Add garlic and reserved juices from roasted peppers. Whisk in oil.
- 3. Arrange vegetables on a platter.Drizzle dressing over top.
- 4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and finger chile. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
- The vegetables will be done at different times; watch closely and remove them as completed and set aside to cool.
- Nora is a type of pepper that is associated with Catalonia. It has a rich, sweet flavor. If you can't find, sweet paprika (preferably Spanish) works just fine.
- If you want to add a bit of smoky heat to this salad, add 1/8 tsp (0.05 mL) hot smoked paprika to the dressing.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/