A Taste of Sunshine: Escalivada Catalana Dish by The Gourmet Vegan

I was fortunate to have lived in Northern Spain for many years and one dish that always stood out for me was Escalivada Catalana. There is hardly a restaurant or bar in Catalonia that doesn’t serve some version of this dish as it is a staple of the region. I first sampled this dish in the beautiful medieval village of Peratallada but no matter where you find this dish across the region, and in whatever variation, you will be sure of a little taste of sunshine. 

This version is a mix of a couple of my favourite recipes and although traditionally served on toasted white bread I have introduced more of the flavours of Catalonia by serving this with my recipe for Walnut, Thyme and Olive Bread. If you want to be even more traditional, this is often served with a glass of chilled red wine that is local to the region.

Vegan Escalivada Catalana (a traditional Spanish dish)

Escalivada Catalana
Escalivada Catalana Ingredients: this is a vegetable based dish filled will color and flavours


1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

2 small onions

1 head garlic

2 medium aubergines

6 small tomatoes

peel the onions
Peel the onions (keeping them whole), wrap in foil and place on the baking tray

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F) Gas Mark 4. 

Start by roasting the vegetables. 

Rub a little olive oil in your hands and rub over the aubergines and peppers before placing on a foil lined baking tray. Peel the onions (keeping them whole), wrap in foil and place on the baking tray alongside the aubergines and peppers and also the whole head of unpeeled garlic.

Roasted veggies
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then add the tomatoes and place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes

Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. At this stage, remove from the oven and give the vegetables a turn to stop them catching on the bottom. Add the tomatoes and place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. 

Immediately place the peppers in a plastic bag. This will make them easier to peel when they cooled down to room temperature. 

There will be a small amount of cooking juice in the bottom of the baking tray which should be poured into a bowl and reserved for when making the sauce.

Peppers and aubergines
Remove the skin and seeds from the peppers and aubergines, then cut into strips.

Once all the vegetables have cooled remove the skin and seeds from the peppers and aubergines. Cut these into strips, including the onions, and put to one side.

Now the sauce can be prepared. 

Over a small bowl, pass the tomatoes through a sieve and collect as much juice as possible. Add this to the cooking juices that were reserved earlier and add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour this over the vegetables and mix well. The Escalivada is now complete.

Once the vegetables are ready, prepare the sauce

Note : Put the garlic to one side as this will be used when preparing the finished dish.

Now comes the exciting part of putting the dish together and it couldn’t be easier…

Take a large slice of the Walnut, Thyme and Olive Bread (or regular bread) and toast it gently. Squeeze out some of the roasted garlic and spread over the toasted bread like margarine. Place the Escalivada over the toasted bread, season with a little salt and pepper and serve. 

You already know this is one of my favourites and I hope it will soon become one of yours too.


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