Catalan Bread Salad ~ Escalivada

This Catalan bread salad, also known as escalivada in its native Spain, is a rustic summer staple made with day-old bread and grilled or roasted vegetables including tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and (surprise!) figs. Spain’s answer to panzanella.

A wooden bowl filled with Catalan bread salad and a frothy beer on the side.

This escalivada salad takes its intriguing name from the Spanish term for cooking over hot coals as the vegetables in it, unlike in Italian bread salad, are grilled. They’re then smothered with a rich, garlicky, umami-heavy dressing called anchoïade that you’re gonna wanna slather on EVERYTHING. Despite the resulting garlic breath. Swear.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Escalivada | Catalan Bread Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
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  • For the bread salad
  • For the anchoïade


Make the bread salad

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

Brush the eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and onion slices generously with some of the olive oil.

Grill the vegetables, turning as needed, until soft and slightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes. If desired, cut each slice into smaller pieces. Toss in a bowl.

Brush the bread slices with some of the olive oil. Grill, turning occasionally, until slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and cut each slice in half or smaller pieces.

Make the anchoïade

Place the garlic and anchovies in a food processor or a mortar and process or pound into a paste. Add the walnuts and coriander seeds and pound to incorporate them.

Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, marjoram, thyme, and figs. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the grilled vegetables on the platter along with the bread, tomatoes, parsley, basil, and fresh figs, if using. Spoon the anchoïade over the top and serve. Originally published September 14, 2011.

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    What You Need To Know About Making This Salad

    • How To Make It With Roasted Vegetables
    • You can easily swap the grilling for roasting if you’re apartment-bound or craving this salad during winter, simply roast the vegetables rather than grill them using your preferred technique. Really any temperature oven will work, whether you go low and slow or a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time.

    • How To Pronounce A Couple Unfamiliar Terms
    • Not all of us are accustomed to bandying about terms such as bagna cauda and anchoïade and escalavida. Nor are we accustomed to tossing together a lovely deconstructed bread salad. That doesn’t mean both of those things can’t happen with ease. Here, a cheat sheet…

      Bagna cauda (pronounced BAN-ya-COW dah) is pretty much just as described in the above headnote. It’s often used as a fondue of sorts for meat or raw veggies or a vinaigrette to accompany robust flavors.

      Anchoïade (pronounced on-SHWOY-ahd) is a garlic and—you guessed it—anchovy dip that takes countless guises. This version is more embellished than most, an intriguing juxtaposition of bitter and sweet that’s earthy and enticing.

      Any questions?

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This recipe is delicious and very versatile. It’s salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy, and quick to whip up if you make the sauce while the vegetables are grilling. I typically don’t like anchovies and was worried that the anchoïade would impart a strong fishy flavor to the dish, but the addition of the anchovies instead added a rich saltiness. The dressing was so flavorful that it could be used on any number of vegetable or grain salads with great results.

    I didn’t have a mortar and pestle on hand and instead prepared the anchoïade in a food processor. I’m assuming that the result was a smoother sauce than was intended, but it was still delicious and took only 30 seconds to make.

    I made a modified version the following day, preparing it as more of a salad with the vegetables sliced smaller and roasted instead of grilled, the bread cut into croutons, and everything tossed together with the anchoïade. I served it with a dollop of ricotta cheese and it was wonderful.

    I’ll definitely make it again!

    A fabulous combination of flavors and textures, this grilled vegetable bread salad hits the mark. Delicious with or without the yummy anchoiade, it’s certainly a dish you will wish to add to your culinary repertoire. However, the anchoiade is good enough to eat by itself, it’s that addicting.

    After grilling the vegetables, I chose to cut them into smaller pieces for serving.


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    1. Thank you sooo much for saying Catalan and not Spanish (and as far as I remember it’s not the only Catalan recipe in here). A lot of people don’t really know the difference and those who do don’t acknowledge the difference!

    2. I keep seeing recipes for bread salads, but I’ve never had one. Now that I’m baking my own bread, I really need to though. This looks amazing!

      1. You’re quite welcome, Allyn. And yes, yes, yes, there are so many amazing bread salads. This one is less well-known but, I dare say, more astounding than most, and I encourage you to try it. Do you do sourdough? If so, perhaps you’ll want to give this one with chicken and arugula and golden raisins a whirl. And then there’s the classic, lovely with any manner of bread, white or wheat, sourdough or, well, not sour at all… At any rate, many thanks for chiming in!

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