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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Spanish Grilled Vegetables (Escalivada)

Spanish Grilled Vegetables (Escalivada)

30 minutes

Spanish Grilled Vegetables (Escalivada)

Free

The Catalonian dish known as escalivada gets its name from escalivar, meaning to char or roast in embers. For our version, we grilled an assortment of vegetables over high and low heat: the hot side added smoky char while the cooler side allowed the longer-cooking vegetables to become tender without scorching. Japanese or Chinese eggplants are slender and cook quickly; if you cannot find either variety, use small globe eggplant (sometimes called Italian eggplant), but cut them lengthwise into quarters rather than halves. We tossed the grilled and chopped vegetables with fresh tomatoes, garlic and sherry vinegar to add bright, pleasantly sharp notes. Serve as an appetizer along with crusty grilled bread or as a side to grilled meats or seafood.

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons sweet or hot paprika
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 small red onion, peeled, root end intact, cut into 8 wedges
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper
1 pound Japanese or Chinese eggplants (2 to 3 medium), stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
Ingredients
  • 6

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • teaspoons sweet or hot paprika

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    small red onion, peeled, root end intact, cut into 8 wedges

  • 1

    medium red or yellow bell pepper

  • 1

    pound Japanese or Chinese eggplants (2 to 3 medium), stemmed and halved lengthwise

  • 1

    bunch scallions, trimmed

  • 1

    cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 3

    tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • ½

    teaspoon honey

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of oil, the paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Skewer the onion wedges with a metal skewer, piercing through the layers to keep the wedges intact. Slice the sides off the bell pepper, leaving behind and discarding the stem and core; trim off any ribs inside. Add the bell pepper, eggplant and scallions to the seasoned oil and toss. In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt, the garlic, vinegar and honey; set aside.
  2. 02
    Prepare a grill for indirect, high-heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, spread a large chimney of hot coals evenly over one side of the grill bed, then open the bottom grill vents; for a gas grill, turn half of the burners to high. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
    See Demo
    Spanish Grilled Vegetables Step 2
  3. 03
    Place the eggplant halves cut side down on the hot side of the grill, along with the bell pepper pieces and the scallions. Brush the onion wedges with some of the oil remaining in the bowl and place on the hot side of the grill; reserve the remaining oil and bowl. Cook as follows, and as each vegetable finishes transfer to a cutting board.
    See Demo
    Spanish Grilled Vegetables Step 3
  4. 04
    Cook the scallions, turning them once, until the white parts are tender and the greens are lightly charred, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Cook the eggplant, turning once, until browned, about 2 minutes per side, then move the eggplant, skin side down, to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook until a skewer inserted into the center meets no resistance, another 5 to 10 minutes. Cook the onion wedges, turning them once or twice, until charred, about 5 minutes total, then move the onion to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook until tender, another 5 to 10 minutes. Cook the bell pepper pieces, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and softened, 8 to 12 minutes.
  5. 05
    Chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces, then return to the bowl. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
    See Demo
    Spanish Grilled Vegetables Step 5
Tip: Don't be afraid to get a good char the vegetables. This adds smokiness as well as depth of flavor. Don't allow the onion wedges to fall through the slats of the grill grate. If necessary, cook the wedges on a sheet of foil set over the grate.
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Spanish Grilled Vegetables (Escalivada)

Get Ready to Cook

4 to 6

Servings

30 minutes

Tip

Don't be afraid to get a good char the vegetables. This adds smokiness as well as depth of flavor. Don't allow the onion wedges to fall through the slats of the grill grate. If necessary, cook the wedges on a sheet of foil set over the grate.

Ingredients
  • 6

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • teaspoons sweet or hot paprika

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1

    small red onion, peeled, root end intact, cut into 8 wedges

  • 1

    medium red or yellow bell pepper

  • 1

    pound Japanese or Chinese eggplants (2 to 3 medium), stemmed and halved lengthwise

  • 1

    bunch scallions, trimmed

  • 1

    cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 3

    tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • ½

    teaspoon honey

Step 1 of 5

Prepare the vegetables

4
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
teaspoons sweet or hot paprika
teaspoons kosher salt
½
teaspoon black pepper
1
small red onion, peeled, root end intact, cut into 8 wedges
1
medium red or yellow bell pepper
1
pound Japanese or Chinese eggplants (2 to 3 medium), stemmed and halved lengthwise
1
bunch scallions, trimmed
1
cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3
medium garlic cloves, minced
3
tablespoons sherry vinegar
½
teaspoon honey

In a large bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of oil, the paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Skewer the onion wedges with a metal skewer, piercing through the layers to keep the wedges intact. Slice the sides off the bell pepper, leaving behind and discarding the stem and core; trim off any ribs inside. Add the bell pepper, eggplant and scallions to the seasoned oil and toss. In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt, the garlic, vinegar and honey; set aside.

Step 2 of 5

Prepare the grill

Prepare a grill for indirect, high-heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, spread a large chimney of hot coals evenly over one side of the grill bed, then open the bottom grill vents; for a gas grill, turn half of the burners to high. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.

Step 3 of 5

Place the vegetables on the grill

1
bunch scallions, trimmed

Place the eggplant halves cut side down on the hot side of the grill, along with the bell pepper pieces and the scallions. Brush the onion wedges with some of the oil remaining in the bowl and place on the hot side of the grill; reserve the remaining oil and bowl. Cook as follows, and as each vegetable finishes transfer to a cutting board.

Step 4 of 5

Cook the vegetables

Cook the scallions, turning them once, until the white parts are tender and the greens are lightly charred, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Cook the eggplant, turning once, until browned, about 2 minutes per side, then move the eggplant, skin side down, to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook until a skewer inserted into the center meets no resistance, another 5 to 10 minutes. Cook the onion wedges, turning them once or twice, until charred, about 5 minutes total, then move the onion to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook until tender, another 5 to 10 minutes. Cook the bell pepper pieces, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and softened, 8 to 12 minutes.

Step 5 of 5

Chop the vegetables

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces, then return to the bowl. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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