It’s that time of year again. From December to March calçots are in season and La Quinta Brasserie brings the Catalan tradition to Sevilla during this time. Basically the calçots (similar to a large spring onion) are roasted over coals, then wrapped up in newspaper and served with a wonderfully nutty romesco sauce. Delicious and also messy as hell. The trick is in getting the non-charred delicate centre out. First you peel away a bit of the charred bit at the end until you see the green part of the onion. Hold onto that! Then tightly grip the tip of the calçot with your other hand and pull.
After that you dip the calçot into romesco sauce, another Catalan dish made with tomatoes and roasted red peppers, puréed and thickened with toasted crushed almonds and bread. Heaven. You can see that La Quinta provided us with a paper bib and also latex gloves for this procedure, as after dipping the calçot into the romesco you are meant to hold it high over your mouth and slowly lower it in. My friend Peter shows us how it’s done (more or less, it was his first time).
This dish is usually served with the traditional porrón, local Catalan wine served in a peculiar wine carafe, which you also hold well above your upturned face as you pour wine directly (or otherwise) into your mouth.
It was great fun doing this again. La Quinta offers the calçots either a la carte or as part of a set menu that includes the calçots, grilled butifarra with creamy butter beans and alioli, a selection of char-grilled meats, desserts and wine. We opted for a la carte and frankly after the calçots and sharing the butifarra dish we were practically dead. Though we did see a couple the next table over polish of the entire menu. RESPECT.