Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean with this easy Escalivada, chock full of eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomato, and red bell peppers, drizzled with olive oil and splashed with sherry vinegar. This dish of Catalan roasted vegetables is delicious, nutritious, and so make-ahead. It’s such an elegant way to eat the rainbow!
You’re going to want to put this easy Escalivada recipe on repeat in the summer since it’s delicious made in advance and served at room temperature alongside a rotisserie chicken and crusty bread or baguette for an easy summer meal.
I first had Escalivada when my French mom (I was an exchange student in college) made it for me and my family when we visited again a few years ago. While the vegan dish is considered Spanish, Michele happens to be French Catalan, which shares many of the same dishes and traditions.
She told me that Escalivada was the lazy woman’s solution to using up summer vegetables, and was she right! I researched other recipes, and her way is the best. No roasting and peeling the eggplant in this dish!
Why Make This
It’s an easy side dish. This vegetable dish is often served as tapas or as a relish for grilled meats and fish. Michèle served Escalivada with charcuterie, cheese, baguette, and red wine. It would also be great on pizza or folded into an omelet.
It makes good use of summer produce. Cooking in season will not only give you the best flavor, but you’ll also save money. Enjoy summer veggies, like red peppers, eggplant, and zucchini in this easy Escalivada.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Escalivada at home:
eggplant – Italian or globe eggplant are typically what you’ll see at the grocery store, but you can use whatever varieties of eggplant you find.
zucchini – Try to use medium size zucchini, if you can. If you end up with a jumbo size from the garden or a neighbor, you may want to remove some of the seedy center.
bell pepper – You can use any color; red peppers are sweeter than green.
tomatoes – Any tomatoes will work, but keep in mind that Roma tomatoes are meatier and will result in more roasted tomato than a juicier variety.
onion – You can use any time of round onion: yellow, white, or red
olive oil – I use virgin olive oil in most Mediterranean recipes, but you can use another cooking oil if that’s what you have.
spices – I like to use thyme, salt, and pepper, per Michele’s instructions. Some recipes for Escalivada recommend parsley instead.
sherry vinegar – Sherry vinegar is traditional in Escalivada, but it’s a lot more expensive than white wine vinegar. The latter is a fine substitute.
Here’s how to make Escalivada:
You don’t really need to preheat oven because the cooking process isn’t as scientific as a baked good, but you will need a rimmed baking sheet so that the juices from the Escalivada veggies don’t splash all over the oven.
- 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.
- Roast in the oven until the veggies are your desired texture. My family prefers their vegetables a little more al dente than is traditional. Cook Escalivada until the veggies are just the way you like them.
Escalivada, or escalibada, is a vegetable dish of Spanish origin. Traditionally, the vegetables are roasted in the ashes or coals from a wood fire and peeled after cooking.
Escalivada is delicious served as an appetizer, or tapas, as well as a side dish to grilled or roasted meats. It’s tasty with eggs as well.
Yes! You can freeze escalivada. Simply cool it, package into freezer-safe containers, chill completely in the fridge, and store for up to 6 weeks. There will likely be more liquid upon thawing. Reheat it well prior to serving for best texture.
You can use leftover escalivada in marinara sauce, either chopped or blended to add.
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- 1 eggplant sliced into ¼-inch slices
- 1 zucchini sliced into rounds
- 2 bell pepper (any color) sliced
- 3 tomato cut into wedges
- 1 onion sliced into rings
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay out the vegetable rounds on the tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season to taste with thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, but still slightly al dente. They will be browned in spots. Use caution when checking as there may be a lot of steam.
- Drizzle with vinegar and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
This post was originally published on February 22, 2015. It has been updated for content and clarity.