Grilled calçots

Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Sud de France

By Caroline Conran

Published 2012

  • About

Method

Cultivating calçots is an art in itself, and involves planting fully developed sweet white onions in well-mulched trenches, 8 inches deep, in late summer. As they grow, they must be earthed up like potatoes. By February or March, they are 2 feet long, and when they are dug up, each onion has between 6 and 16 fat shoots, looking like stumpy leeks.

These should be washed, trimmed of roots and leaf tops and thrown straight on the barbecue grill, without oil, and turned with tongs until cooked through. Serve in newspaper or a curved, terracotta roof tile. Peel off the charred outer skin, dip into romesco sauce or calgot sauce (pages 98 and 113) and enjoy.

Allow plenty of calgots. Small leeks can be substituted, but can be stringier and harder to swallow.

To cook indoors: heat the grill – this can be a ridged grill pan or an overhead grill. Grill on all sides until tender and lightly browned.