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Escalivada (Spanish Grilled Vegetables) and South Rhône Rosé Wine Pairing

Escalivada is a Spanish grilled vegetable appetizer recipe that is easy to make and big on flavor. 

Escalivada is a Spanish grilled vegetable appetizer recipe that is easy to make and big on flavor. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com

Escalivada (pronounced ES-keli-VA-da) comes from Catalonia, the northwestern most region in Spain.

In a way, the Catalan region could be considered the beautiful child of the cultures of South France and Spain. Both French and Spanish influences are apparent in the Catalan culture, but they have also been transformed into something entirely new and unique.

France Meets Spain

Even in this simple vegetable dish, you can see hints of the French and Spanish influence in the region.

Escalivada is made up of grilled (or oven roasted) vegetables that are combined with olive oil, salt, and (in some cases) a little sherry vinegar. The caramelized quality of the roasted vegetables and they texture of the dish might make you think of the classic, Provencal dish ratatouille.

The use of red peppers and a splash of vinegar gives the dish a slight acidic brightness that brings to mind light Spanish dishes. The dish is easy to prepare and made to be enjoyed with a crisp glass of wine and friends. It reminded us of wandering through the streets of Barcelona around tapas time and watching groups of friends gather with small plates and beverages, simply enjoying the company and the afternoon.

To Grill Or Not To Grill?

If you can, grill your vegetables for escalivada. The smoky flavor that the grill imparts takes the flavors to a whole new level. (Similar to the way it does for this Armenian grilled vegetable salad.)

But, if grilling just isn’t possible, the oven will do a good job to caramelize the sugars and a quick stint under the broiler will even give a bit of that grill-charred flavor.

Escalivada is a Spanish grilled vegetable appetizer recipe that is easy to make and big on flavor. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com

How To Serve?

Escalivada is traditionally served as an appetizer with thick slices of crisp toast. We loved the complementary textures of the crisp toast and the smooth vegetables.

It is also common for escalivada to be served as a side dish to go along with the grilled meats or fish.

Either way you serve it, be sure it is accompanied by a nice semi-dry white or rosé wine!

Escalivada is a Spanish grilled vegetable appetizer recipe that is easy to make and big on flavor. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com

In Our Glass

We paired our escalivada with a Château de Campuget Rosé from Costières de Nîmes in the Southern Rhône Valley of France. As recent as the early 2000’s, Costières de Nîmes was considered a part of the eastern Languedoc region, but the grapes and wine making style of the region were more similar to what one would find in Rhône.

We found this blend of 30% Grenache and 70% Syrah to be bright and citrus-y on the nose. We were pleasantly surprised by the wine’s dryness which was rounded out by tart raspberry and grapefruit flavors. It was a nice and light, semi-dry wine, perfect for spring or summer sipping.

The bright, fresh red peppers of the escalivada mingled with the acidity of the wine and brought out the wine’s berry notes. The oil in the escalivada smoothed out the wine’s dryness, creating a wonderful complement. This would be the perfect pairing for a lazy spring or summer day spent enjoying appetizers and wine with friends on the patio.

Rhone Wine Region – Image from FrenchWineCompany.com

France’s Southern Rhône Valley

This month, the Wine Pairing Weekend Crew is exploring the wines of the South Rhône. The Rhône River Valley is in Southern France and the wines produced there are commonly divided between the northern and southern regions of the Rhône Valley.

Being farther inland, the northern region sees more of a temperature shift with the seasons, making it generally cooler than the southern region. Because of this, different grapes are grown between the north and the south. The north is known for wines produced with the Syrah and Voignier grape. The south is more Mediterranean in climate, with warmer temperatures year round. It is known for its many red blends which tend to include Grenach, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes.

Be sure to take a look at the other South Rhône wines and dishes the crew explored after the recipe!

 

Escalivada is a Spanish grilled vegetable appetizer recipes that is easy to make and big on flavor. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com
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Escalivada (Spanish Grilled Vegetables)

This Spanish grilled vegetable appetizer is easy to make and big on flavor. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 99kcal
Author: Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere

Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium eggplant, with shiny, firm and taut skin
  • 1 onion, large, with dry outer skin removed
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • ½ tsp salt (divided)
  • Splash sherry vinegar (optional)
  • Crusty bread (for serving)

Instructions

  • Preheat your grill to a medium heat or your oven to 375F.
  • Rub the clean and dry vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Roast them either on the grill or in a baking dish in the oven for 25-30 minutes on the first side, or until the first side starts to get a char. Turn them and continue to cook them until the second side begins to blacken, another 15-25 minutes. (Depending on the heat of your grill, these times may vary.) Chances are, your peppers will be done before the onion and eggplant. If this is the case, remove them from the heat and place them on a plate. If using the oven, if after the vegetables are soft, they are not yet charred, turn on the broiler to give them a bit of color. (But watch them closely, the broiler works FAST!)
  • Once the vegetables are soft and the skins are toasted, remove them from the heat and place them in a bowl. Cover them with a kitchen towel and set them aside to cool, 10-15 min.
  • Once they are cool enough to handle, peel the skins off of the eggplant and peppers and remove the seeds. Tear or slice the vegetables into strips.
  • Place the sliced vegetables into a serving bowl or platter. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt. Finish with a splash of sherry vinegar, if desired.
  • Serve with bread as an appetizer or as a side dish to meat or fish.

Nutrition

Serving: 5portions | Calories: 99kcal

 


Find more great pairings for the wines of the South Rhône region below!

David of Cooking Chat started this event in June of 2014, and every month since then this group of wine and food lovers have had a great time! For more background, check out the original post announcing Wine Pairing Weekend. You can see the full list of past and upcoming #winePW events here.

Recipe Rating




teresa

Saturday 16th of October 2021

Escalivada doesn't resemble ratatouille at all. In fact the Catalan dish similar to ratatouille is called samfaina in Catalonia and in Spain, they have a similar one called pisto. "Escalivar is a technique from the oldest Catalan cuisine, which is still commonly used today, and which allowed to make the most of the products from the garden. Although nowadays they are made with electric, gas or microwave ovens, the type of cooking of the escalivat was made on a charcoal grill. The aromas and the flavour obtained from the contact with the embers are of outstanding gastronomic value." Escalivada is usually served as a side to BBQed meats, on top of Coca de recapte, which has a base similar to pizza, and topped with also anchovies and sometimes sausage, sometimes used as a mousse to put on top of cannelloni, with bacallà - salted cod -, or just on top of a nice slice of bread. Sometimes we add potatoes made in the oven with its skin and peel them and cut into thick slices before serving, to make it a more complete first course.

armchairsommelier

Saturday 16th of April 2016

I love dishes that are simple . . . but brilliant. Lovely! Cheers!

Sarah Ozimek

Monday 18th of April 2016

Thanks!

Martin D. Redmond

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

When my wife and I visited Spain a few years ago, we enjoyed quite a few dishes similar to this. Your's looks fantastic! And great pairing!

Sarah Ozimek

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

Thanks Martin!

Michelle Williams

Sunday 10th of April 2016

I love it when Spain and France meet for a delicious food and wine pairing! Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Ozimek

Monday 11th of April 2016

Thanks Michelle! We do too! ;)

Wendy Klik

Saturday 9th of April 2016

I am so anxious for grilling weather and this dish is on my list as soon as Spring decides to descend upon Michigan.

Sarah Ozimek

Monday 11th of April 2016

We're waiting anxiously for springtime weather here too. We hope you enjoy the dish!