Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Calҫots have arrived - Food Find

Not only does it feel like Spring is just round the corner but the Spanish Calҫots are here to confirm it.  Spotted at Tony Booth's Bermondsey arch today (supplier to Barrafina, Jose/Pizarro and Tapas Brindisa) the first of the season are just beginning to be harvested in the Catalan fields.  Somewhere between a spring onion and a leek, these alliums were orginally what harvesters missed in the autumn.  The onions remained n the ground over winter and in January/February sprouted from the old bulb.  These days they are a delicacy and are planted to over-winter.  They are traditionally roasted over an open fire and served with the gentle heat of a sunny romesco sauce of chillies, peppers, nuts, garlic, tomato and sherry vinegar.  You could grill them or, a good improvision I saw today, place the Calҫots in a hot dry frying and place a smaller, smoking hot one on top.  Cook on a high heat until charred then wrap the Calҫots in newspaper and they will soften as they cool a little.  Strip away the outer "stocking", roll up the flesh and dip into the sauce.  If you don't want to cook them, and can't get to Barcelona, look out for them in good Spanish restaurants.