What is a Calçot?
The calçot comes from the onion family and it´s appearance and taste is not disimilar to a giant spring onion, though it is only eaten cooked and it has a smoother taste than a spring onion. It is quite versatile and that is why we have chosen to incorporate it into quite a Catalan style dish.
Calçots are traditionally eaten in Catalonia and most famously in Valls, Tarragona in the winter months. Calçotadas are a type of celebration which take place at the end of January and in February and March ( if not too warm). The calçots are cooked over open coals and then dipped into a sauce called Romesco which has variations but is generally made up of almonds, garlic, olive oil and nyora peppers. Generally there are around 10 – 20 calçots per person, which is then followed by a feast of barbecued meats served with toasted ‘ farmer´s ‘ bread.
meatballs in white wine sauce:
250g minced pork and 250g minced beef
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
stale bread soaked in milk, drained and broken into small pieces
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 glass dry white wine
Put the meat, garlic, egg and bread in the food processor to make a consistent mix. If you do not have a processor you can do this by hand, just making sure that all the ingredients have been mixed together thoroughly. Remove from the processor, season and break up the mixture to form small balls. Next lightly cover the balls with flour and then fry until golden. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
In the same pan, add the onion and leave it to sweat until golden. Add the wine and leave for 5 minutes until it has reduced at which point we add the meatballs. Leave for around ten minutes, making sure that the sauce doesn´t get too thick. Once done sprinkle a little parsley and serve.
For the beans ( judías blancas, similar to Cannellini beans) with calçots:
200g cooked beans
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Heat the oli in a large frying pan and add the whole garlic colves, sauté lightly on a high heat and then add the beans. Turn down the heat to medium and leave the beans to cook, stiring from time to time. Peel the first two or three layers of the calçot and then slice lengthways. When the beans start to turn golden move them to one side of the pan and put the calçots in their place. Leave them to cook so that they are more or less done, then with a flick of the wrist ( like when making a pancake) bring the beans and calçots together- make sure they are well mixed and then leave for a further 5 minutes to cook before serving.