Our Pitmaster Club can up your game!
Benefits include:

• No more ads, faster page loads!
• "The Pit" forum with tons of info & scores of recipes
• Monthly newsletter
• Video seminars with top pitmasters
• Weekly podcast with news and interviews
• Comprehensive Temperature Magnet ($10 retail)
• Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers
• Discounts on products we love
• Educational and social Meat-Ups
• Support for Operation BBQ Relief
• Support for Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
• Support for AmazingRibs.com!

AmazingRibs.com BBQ Logo

grilled calcot scallions with romesco sauce

Calcots From Catalonia (Grilled Scallions From Northeastern Spain)

"Some onions make me cry. Scallions make me laugh." Meathead

In early spring in Spain there are aromatic festivals in many villages in Catalonia, the region around Barcelona. The Festa de la Calcotada, consecrates the first thing edible from the garden: Green onions called calcotada.

The calcot is a thick sort of scallion, they are planted in summer, and pop out of the ground early in spring. They are grown like white asparagus, by mounding dirt around the young shoots as they emerge so the sun can't strike them. The result is a long thick white stalk with a crown of green leaves at the top.

Calcotada (plural of calcot) are grilled quickly over grapevine cuttings until charred and the tops get crispy, and they are seasoned by smoke. They are then wrapped in newspaper to steam, peeled to remove the dirty outer layer, presented on clay roof tiles to keep them warm, dipped in romesco sauce, a paste of sweet red peppers, almonds, garlic and olive oil, and, with head thrown back, slurped down like a pelican swallowing a fish, biting off the white and discarding the green.

Sausages and chicken are thrown on the grill and the whole feast is washed down with cava, the delightful sparkling wine from the Penedes region, or the local red wine, also slurped with head back, from porron, the classic Spanish bottle with a nozzle. Here we see Chef Anthony Bourdain drinking from a porron.

We have a patch of our herb garden in which we have planted a type of wild onion. We pretty much ignore the patch and it rewards us with tender green onions in spring. I don't bother mounding up the dirt, but I do have several grapevines, so I can cook them the traditional way. But you can do this at home with storebought scallions and any old grill, even a gas grill. It is a ritual of spring at my house.

Makes. 2 servings as a side dish

Takes. 15 minutes


2 handsful of scallions

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup romesco sauce


1) Rinse the scallions, cut off the dead and brown greens, chop off the roots, pull off the dirty outer layer from the bulbs, and sprinkle them lightly with salt, pepper, and olive oil in that order.

2) Preheat the grill in a 2-zone configuration. Align the grill grates so that you can place the bulbs directly over the hot side, and the greens over the indirect zone, without them falling through. Leave the lid open and stand by the grill, rolling them around. Letting them char a bit, but not blacken too much. The greens should toast nicely, but if they don't get crispy, you can flip them over the direct heat for a minute or two.

3) Serve with a bowl of romesco sauce for dipping. Wash it down with Catalan wine.

Return to top

Please read this before posting a comment or question

grouchy?1) Please use the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help, then please post your question on the appropriate page.

2) Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question such as the type of cooker and thermometer you are using. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

3) If you post a photo, wait a minute for a thumbnail to appear. It will happen even if you don't see it happen.

4) Click here to learn more about our comment system and our privacy promise. Remember, your login info for comments is probably different from your Pitmaster Club login info if you are a member.


 Click to Show Comments or Add Your Own

Return to top

Logos of various organizations that we support

Return to top

LeaderDog.org Ad on BBQ site

About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. There are also buying guides to hundreds of barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.

Brought to you by readers who support us with their membership in our Pitmaster Club. Click here to learn more about benefits to membership.

Advertising. AmazingRibs.com is by far the most popular barbecue website in the world, still growing rapidly, and one of the 25 most popular food websites in the US according to comScore, Quantcast, and Alexa. Click here for analytics and advertising info.

© Copyright 2016 - 2017 by AmazingRibs.com. All text, recipes, photos, and computer code are owned by AmazingRibs.com and fully protected by US copyright law unless otherwise noted. This means that it is a Federal crime to copy and publish or distribute anything on this website without permission. But we're easy! We usually grant permission and don't charge a fee. To get reprint rights, just click here. You do not need permission to link to this website.