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Escalivada

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Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean with this easy Escalivada, chock full of eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomato, and peppers, drizzled with olive oil.

Recipe for Escalivada | Good Cheap Eats

I am a francophile. Unabashedly so. As a child I always dreamed of going to France; as a college student I did. I lived there for a mere ten months as an exchange student. Prior to my departure from the states, my high school French teacher introduced me to her college friend, Michèle, and her family.

The Durieux took me under their wing during my stay in France and became my family. It was amazing to experience every day life with them, eat amazing food, and learn the culture straight from the source. I know that without them my experience would have been only so-so. The only regret is that I wasn’t brave enough to say when I didn’t understand something.

Michèle is of Catalan descent, her grandparents hailed from the small region that overlaps France and Spain. She inherited their home in Collioure. That is where FishPapa and I spent Christmas in 1992 and our honeymoon in 1994.

The Durieux loaned us their Collioure home during our honeymoon (they lived in Toulouse at the time) and when we were finally able to take our kids last fall. They have a nice home in nearby Ceret. Collioure is a vacation destination for sure.

Recipe for Escalivada | Good Cheap Eats

We had a marvelous stay. Michèle and Jean-Marc are just the same: warm, welcoming, and impeccable when it comes to feeding people well. On our first night in Collioure, they provided a wonderful repast of Escalivada, charcuterie, fresh bread, local cheeses, Collioure wine. This is my lunch of leftovers the next day.

Michèle had told me about Escalivada earlier in the summer when I enacted French Fridays at our house and was preparing Ratatouille. If I remember right, she said that Escalivada was the lazy woman’s solution to using up summer vegetables.

Recipe for Escalivada | Good Cheap Eats

Just slice the vegetables into rounds, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and thyme. It’s super simple and I love it that I just chop the veg and literally throw it together.

I did a little research on the dish and it looks like Michèle’s recipe for the traditional Catalan dish is much easier than some others I’ve seen. Roasting and peeling eggplant? No thanks.

While I should probably save this recipe to share in August when gardens and produce boxes are bursting with zucchini and eggplant, I’m sharing it today. I’ve been homesick for Collioure, so when I remembered the forgotten eggplant in my fridge from a freezer cooking session, I knew just what to make.

Recipe for Escalivada | Good Cheap Eats

And when I made this this weekend, it tasted just like Collioure!

This dish is often served as tapas or as a relish for grilled meats and fish. Michèle served it with charcuterie, cheese, and bread. It would also be great on pizza or folded into an omelet.

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Comments

  1. Stephanie M. says:

    My goodness, Jessica, this looks absolutely delicious! I have never been to France but I have been to Germany 14 times so I understand how the food can bring back so many wonderful memories. Because my mother is from Germany, I grew up eating a nice variety of German foods and I cook them myself. Just yesterday, Sunday, I made sauerbraten, spaetzle (German dumplings), red cabbage, and German potato salad. During all of my travels there, I found that the food is really quite simple rather than fancy or gourmet which is right up my alley. Some of my favorite foods are what I call peasant food or rather just simple, plain food. This is why I always enjoy going to this small pub like restaurant called The Oxen in the village where our friends live. Everyone knows everyone; there is always a good crowd, and the food is delicious and plentiful. This dish you made looks wonderful and I’m going to try it out and serve it the same way as you did in the picture.

    • What a wonderful habit to be in. I would love to go to Europe that often!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        I’m pretty fortunate to have been there so many times but only because my mother is from there. I went there first when I was 3 years old and went several more times as a young girl; sometimes with my mother and once alone but I stayed with my grandparents. Where my grandparents lived in the Black Forest, one of their neighbors had a daughter my age and when she was in school learning English, her mother thought it would be nice for her to write to someone in United States so she could better her English. Back then, there were no computers, so we wrote for many years before we actually met. Now my grandparents are both gone but my friend and I have known each other for about 40 years. That makes me sound so old! But basically – all our lives. Then we both grew up and had families and now we travel back and forth to see each other. Because of them, I have also seen parts of Austria and Switzerland. We just went on a cruise together in the Caribbean this past November. We’re hoping to go on another vacation together, possibly the Mediterranean next year. But it’s so nice when we go there because having gone so many times, we know all of their friends and it always feels like such a nice reunion. I can’t even begin to tell you how beautiful it is where they live; mountains and small villages everywhere. But I have to say, France is on my bucket list too. And from watching the Tour de France, it looks just as beautiful. But, of course, I would also love to go to Paris while I’m there.

  2. This would be awesome on pizza! white sauce base and Havarti cheese?? yes, I think so!
    I just recently discovered egg plant(I thought it was too scary looking LOL) No one ever told me it was kinda like zucchini 😉
    I think this will be the side for the crock pot chicken tomorrow!!

  3. The cuisines of the Mediterranean are favorites of mine. Some version of this dish exists throughout the Mediterranean: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/dining/06eggplant.html
    I found that in Italy there are versions called gimbot, ciambotta and gurgugliare. Some say that caponata is a version of it, but I see caponata as something completely different, though it uses similar ingredients.
    Whatever it’s called — it’s good.

  4. This is absolutely beautiful in its simplicity. We were last in France in September and had the best…I mean the BEST yogurt I have ever eaten. The small hotel they made it from scratch.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe.

  5. I just made this and it is delicious! I only used onion, tomato, and zucchini, because that’s what I had. And on Convection Roast, it only takes 20-25 mins. Yum!

  6. How did I miss this back in ’15??? It looks delicious. I think leftovers would also work well in a frittata.

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