Thursday, July 8, 2010

Escalivada-Roasted Vegetable Salad Spanish Style

This is a simple salad made by grilling/roasting ingredients primarily eggplant,onions,pepper and tomatoes to which a simple dressing is added.This is from Catalonia in Spain and is served as a tapas or appetizer.The idea behind tapas is to increase the appetite and this salad sure does that job and is easy to prepare. Escalivar means to roast over hot ashes/embers and thus the dish derived its name.

Eggplant: 1 almost big
Onions: preferably white : 1-2 medium size
Red BellPepper: 1 big
Tomato: 1-2 medium size

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 4+tbsp
Red Wine Vinegar/Sherry Vinegar: 1-2 tbsp (optional)

I fire roasted each ingredient individually though this can be done in the oven or grill top.I did not peel or skin the vegetables except the onions whil roasting.Wrap each in aluminium foil and let it rest till completely cool preferably an hour.

Peel the eggplant,tomato and red pepper and cut into long strips and add together in a big bowl.For tomato and pepper,you can remove the seeds as well.I did not do this.For the onions,remove the outer roasted/charred skin and cut into rings.You can also use green pepper instead of red for making it more colourful.

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.Pour over the roasted salad and toss to mix well.You can add part of the onion rings as a garnish as well. Serve at room temperature as an appetizer on top of canapes or toasted bread or chips or whatever way you fancy.

The salad is truly appetizing and I loved it.The dressing is very simple but very appetizing.You can add garlic or anyother spice or herb to it and vinegar itself is optional.You can increase the no: of tomatoes if you want to avoid this.But this is one salad where I feel the presentation is as important as taste.All the (over)roasting,peeling,cutting into strips,tossing in a bowl is very simple but looks not that photogenic.So instead of mixing if you arrange the individual roasted items on salad plates and pour the dressing and let it sit then it would look presentable.

I know I have not done a good job with my pics as I simply tossed everything together but the salad is a sureshot appetizer that goes to AWED:Spain hosted by Priya, an event by dear DK.


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