The idea for this recipe comes from Calçots con Romesco. Calçot is a type of green onion similar to a scallion, but a little thicker and bigger, that grows in Catalonia. They are traditionally eaten grilled with romesco— a Spanish sauce made with tomatoes, peppers, nuts, and bread. It's rich and creamy, and has sort of a mysterious earthy vibe. It's that subtle almost chocolatey earthiness that led me to add beets. You can also serve romesco with fish, or dip roasted potatoes in it. This version is great tossed with a chunky pasta or spread on thick slices of toast. Top your toast or pasta with some crumbled Bulgarian feta for some really wonderful smokey, sweet, briny bites. This version omits the bread. It is also vegan (minus the feta) and the prettiest pink.
1 bunch scallions per person- but the thickest scallions you can find!
about 1/4 cup of olive oil for every 2 bunches of scallions
2 medium beets, peeled
1 medium onion
1 red or yellow pepper
5 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight (ideally) and drained
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and preheat your oven to 350º. Peel the beets and quarter them. Place them on the foil lined baking sheet and toss them with a little olive oil. Put the pepper and onion in the baking sheet as well. For the pepper and onion just remove the sticker from their skin if they still have one. Roast until soft.
In the meantime confit the garlic in a small saucepan by gently simmering it in olive oil for about 8 minutes. You want to soften the garlic and infuse the oil, but you want to do this slowly and gently so. that the garlic barely takes on any color. The garlic is confited when it no longer looks raw and has a pale golden hue.
Remove from heat and cool.
Once all the roasting veggies are soft remove them from the oven and let them cool down to room temp. Peel the onion and peel and seed the pepper. Puree the veggies, garlic, and cashews while slowly drizzling the garlic infused oil. Puree until completely smooth. This will take a little longer than you think. You really want to break down the cashews. This allows them to release their oil, which helps emulsify the puree.
Add the kosher salt, paprika, and sherry vinegar. Puree again. Drizzle in more olive oil if it needs it. Taste it and add a little more acid or salt if it needs it.
Turn the oven to 400°. Trim the bottoms of the scallions. Place them in a parchment lined baking sheet and toss them with olive oil and salt. Make sure they are spread evenly. Turn them with a spatula after 10 minutes and then bake them until golden— about ten more minutes.