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Celebrate Catalonia’s ‘Calçotada’ (onion festival) with Morito

Celebrate Catalonia’s famous onion festival, the Calçotada, with Exmouth Market’s Morito every Sunday in February and try our delicious calçot recipe at home.

Morito is bringing the Calçotada onion festival to Exmouth Market every Sunday in February 2015, with a set menu that celebrates seasonal Catalonian produce.

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Calçotada celebrates the harvest of the calçot, a type of Catalonian green onion similar to leeks or spring onions. They’re usually dunked in a rich romesco sauce and served with grilled meats.

Try charcoal-grilled calçots with romesco sauce; grilled lamb chops with cumin and paprika; and many more delicious Catalonian dishes from Morito’s set menu (£25 per head), or have a go at making the below olive recipe inspired by the festival.

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Charred salad onions with romesco sauce

romano pepper 1, halved and seeded

tomato 1, halved

olive oil

garlic 2 cloves, crushed

red chilli 1, finely chopped

bread 1 slice, roughly chopped

hazelnuts 50g

blanched almonds 25g

parsley chopped to make 2 tbsp

olive oil 150ml

red wine vinegar 2 tbsp

salad onions 12, roots trimmed

Step 1

Grill the pepper halves skin-side up until they start to blister and grill the tomato halves cut-side up until they start to brown on top. Peel the pepper halves and slip the skin off the tomatoes and roughly chop them. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the garlic and chilli briefly until it softens, add the bread and fry until browned then add the pepper and tomato. Scrape the lot into a food processor with the nuts and parsley and pulse until roughly chopped, add the oil, vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pulse together. Tip into a bowl.

Step 2

Heat the grill or a griddle pan and brush the onions with oil. Griddle or grill them until they blacken on the outside (or put them over the grey coals of a barbecue). Once blackened, wrap them in newspaper and leave them for 15 minutes to soften.

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Step 3

Serve them with the sauce. To eat them, slip the cooked onion out of the outer blackened skin and dip them in the romesco sauce.