Calçotada is the name of a spring festival in Spain that celebrates an oniony-type vegetable known as the calçot. Great quantities of calçots are grilled and then served with romesco, a sweet and savory pepper sauce. In my part of the world, there's an oniony-type vegetable that closely resembles the calçot. It's called a leek, and it's also widely available in the spring and fall. This recipe uses leeks, but it's inspired by the Calçotada's marriage of caramelized, roasted onions with yummy pepper sauce.
First, you need to make some seitan. Click here for full instructions and step-by-step photos on making seitan. Cut the seitan into slices and cover it to keep it warm while you work on the other parts of the dish.
Start with your potatoes and leeks. Just chop them up, season them with some salt, pepper and olive oil, then stick them in the oven for a bit while you get to work on the romesco sauce.
Toast up some bread, almonds, garlic and ancho chili pepper until nice and golden. An ancho chili is a poblano that's been dried. Look for it in a Mexican market or anywhere that sells dried peppers.
Process your toasted ingredients into fine crumbs, then blend in tomatoes, roasted red peppers, vinegar and smoked paprika.
Return it to the pan and simmer it until it thickens. ¡Ya está! You've got an amazingly creamy and satisfying romesco sauce.
Now all you need to do is put everything together and garnish with a little parsley. Buen apetito.
Seitan Romesco With Roasted Potatoes and Leeks
Important: Be sure to give yourself enough time to cook the seitan. For a quicker recipe, you can use store bought seitan.
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups mushroom broth or vegetable broth
Potatoes and Leeks
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
2 large leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced into 1/2” rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 slice vegan bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 ancho chili pepper, seeded and torn into small pieces (see tip)
6 cloves garlic, quartered
1 (15 oz) can diced or puréed tomatoes (fire roasted if available)
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Serve with: chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Prepare the seitan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a lidded casserole dish with non-stick spray. Combine flour, nutritional yeast and vegetable stock powder in a large bowl. Mix the water, tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms. Adjust amount of water or gluten as needed (see tip). Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then form into a loaf. Place the seitan in the casserole dish and cover with 2 cups of mushroom broth. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Flip the loaf, then cover and cook for another 40 minutes. Remove the seitan from the dish and allow it to rest until cool enough to handle. Cut into 1/2” thick slices, then cover and keep warm.
- Prepare the potatoes and leeks. Turn oven up to 400 degrees. Spread veggies out in a casserole dish and sprinkle evenly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 40-50 minutes, turning occasionally, or until tender, browned and crisp around the edges.
- While the potatoes and leeks are cooking, prepare the romesco sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the bread and almonds, stirring often, until just starting to brown. Add the chile and garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
- Move the contents of the pan to a food processor and blend into fine crumbs. Add remaining romesco sauce ingredients. Purée until smooth, then return sauce to the pan and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce darkens slightly and begins to stick to the pan.
- Arrange seitan and veggies on plates. Top with romesco sauce and serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley.