A patio of one’s own – Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco

Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco TGF-1

Here’s the scene: working-class neighborhood, first house, first back yard, first patio.  Radical move against the local pave-the-yard-build-a-grape-arbor esthetic.  We christened the patio’s finish by inviting neighbors Pam and Chris to join us for Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco.  At the time, almost two decades ago, I’d heard of Romesco, the thick Catalan sauce based on roasted red peppers and nuts, but not grilled spring onions, which my wife assured me was a big deal in Barcelona.  She was right.  The Calçotada is a month-long Barcelonan lovefest to calçots, spring onions, which are then grilled and slathered with Romesco.  Imagine a sloppy Falstaffian bender lasting most of April, involving untold quantities of red wine and masses of fragrant grilled onions wrapped in newspapers or served in inverted clay roofing tiles and eaten with your hands.  Uh-huh, who isn’t down for that?

Advertisements

Dandelion and Mustard Green Gnocchi with Lucky Boy Onions and Pine Nuts

This week’s Dandelion and Mustard Green Gnocchi recipe features a sauce made with wild Texas onions.  My brother Bob and his wife Monika have have a small ranch, which they call Lucky Boy, in the Hill Country a couple of hours from San Antonio.*  In one of those weird six-degrees of separation confluences friends of ours were visiting family in Texas,  who were in turn friends with my brother and his wife.  Everyone ended up at Lucky Boy for the weekend.  Our friends flew back to Boston with a Texas goodie bag filled with long slender wild onions picked from the banks of the Llano River.  We used the bulb and the pointed flower head (what locals call “the garlic”), and a few inches of tender green stem attached to each.  Most of the stem is too woody for cooking, like the tough parts of lemongrass.  If you look closely at the plate of gnocchi photographed straight down there’s a closed flower head sitting atop the dumpling in the seven o’clock position.