Roasted Peppers Salad
The escalibada (or “escalivada”) seems to be a typical Catalan recipe, but I I have seen it countless times throughout the Levantine fringe, where I tried it for the first time. When you go to Wikipedia, you find out that the verb comes from the Catalan “escalivar” (“roast to the embers”) and therefore, it was very common in rural areas; It consists, therefore, in roasting on the fire, oven or grill a series of vegetables: eggplant, pepper, onion, tomato and garlic; I even add zucchini and always a potato. It is a very appetizing dish for the summer, because it is low in calories and eaten cold or warm; and it is also very rich in fiber.
I usually do it at this time of year when the typical vegetables of the roasted vegetables are at their point, and they are also very cheap. I would love to prepare a roast with the roasted vegetables on the embers, but these oddities must already be forgotten. I always put roasted potatoes for purely sentimental reasons, since I think that the kitchen is half knowledge, half feeling. What sometimes happens to me is that writing these culinary texts is a way of remembering happy moments and I do it for pure personal pleasure to relive them, but then when I open the page and see the many people who have been there, then I am very ashamed that these very personal reflections reach so many unknown people. But I suppose that is writing, an intimate activity, which is then shared by the readers.
When I was a girl and summer came, we were taken to a beautiful grove of giant eucalyptus, on a carpet of grass and wildflowers, and there we roasted potatoes on the embers. The idea that we spend the afternoon in that place, came from the belief that breathing the aroma of these trees had all kinds of therapeutic properties, above all, it would avoid winter colds, and would free us from bronchitis, arthritis, and things worse like tuberculosis. When we arrived, the first thing we did was collect the firewood and the bright, greenish and aromatic leaves of the eucalyptus, and also a kind of skin that covers them and when you pull it out, it strips, as if it were fine leather, and it is very good to light the fire, in addition to using it in making baskets and sandals. I perfectly distinguished each eucalyptus and could even describe them. This reminds me of a Murray Bail novel where a certain Mr. Holland would give the hand of his freckled daughter, Ellen, to the man who named each eucalyptus on his estate; In my case, I could not say the class of eucalyptus since they all belonged to the same type, but I could offer a characteristic feature of each of them.
With all this he made a good campfire and left until only the embers remained, then the potatoes were thrown and roasted; potatoes we took (or rather we “stole” them from a nearby field, although no one ever considered such a thing, from any nearby field); then we would go to play everything, because you had to wait for the potatoes to cook and it took forever (or it seemed to me) !; at that stage of life time passed very slowly. From game to game, we were going to ask the girls, who were lying under the eucalyptus trees, or sitting chatting about their things, how much time was left to eat them, but they always answered the same thing: “But you’re already here again!”; and so we returned to ours, and after being fed up with so much playing, they called out loudly because the potatoes were already roasted, and sometimes even burned. What a delight! What a miracle of nature! We could not wait for a second for them to cool, but burning and blowing, we swallowed them for the moment. And it was time to return … That was only in summer; one day they said that those centuries-old eucalyptus trees were going to cut them down because they were going to build a Labor Institute, I couldn’t believe such misfortune “, what would become of us in the winter? It would have been better if they built a hospital, for many diseases that we would now suffer, for not breathing the aroma of eucalyptus! How could I now fill my room with “carabullitos” ?, those berries with a whimsical shape of a wooden button, in which, surely, God dedicated more time to design other objects, according to my girl (and coming from her, it didn’t even cross my mind that it wasn’t true) they chased away all the evil spirits in the world, but what bothered me the most was how happy everything was the world. The following summer we never returned, nor the next, nor ever again. Now we bought the eucalyptus leaves in the pharmacy, which my mother put in a saucepan on a small stove so that we could inhale the vapors when we obeyed, because Only she was a holy remedy.
I think for this reason, I always like to put a potato on the roast, to remember those long and happy summer afternoons of my childhood.
Quantities to suit the consumer:
Fleshy Red Peppers
Optional: Tomato, potato, zucchini, garlic or any other roasting vegetable.
1. The vegetables are placed in a baking dish that will heat up to 200º. Then it drops to about 180º. Eggplants, peppers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, etc. are placed. on a tray that we put in the middle of the oven. At approximately 25 minutes, we turn the pepper, eggplant, potato and onion, (not tomatoes and zucchini). We turn off the fire after 45 minutes, after checking that they are done.
2. We cover them with newspaper or albal, letting them rest for about 20 minutes. It is important that they are covered for a while so that they peel better, except for the tomatoes that I do not cover.
3. Then when we take it out of the oven everything will be peeled and the seeds of the pepper will be extracted, except the tomatoes that only the hair. The meat of all this is left to drain well in a colander, and then I put it on a serving tray with kitchen paper so that it finishes absorbing the liquid.
4. Once all the vegetables are peeled, I cut strips lengthwise and, combining them, I put them in the source. I leave the tomatoes whole and the potatoes and onions cut them into pieces.
5. You can add minced garlic cloves, but I prefer to top with a garlic oil (which is olive oil to which a few garlic cloves are added to flavor it and leave it for a few days); I season it with salt and at the table.
BON MENJAR !!!!!!!!!!!