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Spanish and Catalan cuisine

Escalivada: Traditional Catalan recipes

Traditional Catalan Recipes: Escalivada
Written by Paula

Escalivada, known in Castilian as “escalibada”, is a traditional Catalan dish that can be described as a “grilled salad”. Its name comes from the Catalan verb “escalivar”, which means “to cook in ashes”, describing the way the dish used to be prepared in old times, in the embers of a wood fire.

To prepare Escalivada you’ll need:

  • escalivada 4 medium-sized eggplants
  • 4 big red peppers
  • 4 small onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

Here is the recipe, step by step

It is possible to make escalivada by using a frying pan, without olive oil, simply turning the vegetables from time to time, until the exterior looks evenly cooked. The problem with cooking them with the frying pan is that not only will they lose more water than they should,  but there is also a possibility that the vegetables will look good on the outside, while not being fully cooked on the inside, which happens to vegetables with thick skin, like peppers. Our recommendation is that you cook your meal in the oven, to guarantee the best results possible.

You have the option of cooking escalivadas fast or slowly. The fast version takes one hour with the oven set to 180oC, while the long version takes three hours, with the oven set to 120oC. Our instinct is always going to incline us towards the faster option, but the truth is that the long process is worth it, since the vegetables remain nice and juicy by the time they are done.

  • Before beginning the cooking process, wash the eggplants and the red peppers thoroughly.escalivada
  • Prepare an oven tray.
  • Place the entire peppers directly inside the tray.
  • Cut the eggplants in half.
  • Cut the onions and the tomatoes in four.
  • Dice the garlic.
  • Place the eggplants, garlic, onions and tomatoes in the tray, wet them with a bit of olive oil and add salt to your liking.
  • Place the tray at medium height inside the oven and let the vegetables cook the necessary time.
  • When the vegetables are ready, take out the red peppers and wrap them in aluminum foil leaving them like that for about 20 minutes so they can sweat and you can remove the skin more easily. When the skin has been removed, cut the red peppers into slices.
  • Now, remove the skin from the eggplants.
  • Display the vegetables as you wish and they are ready to eat.

Enjoy your meal!

Related article: Catalan recipes: Habas a la Catalana

About the author


Paula is an experienced content writer, translator and editor.

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