A number of classic dishes inspired this variation of bread salad recipe. It was a late summer day, and the weather called for grilling. After a morning at the market, I had on hand the right mix of Provençal vegetables for making a ratatouille. Although bagna cauda, a warm sauce of garlic, oil, and anchovies, seemed the ideal accompaniment, cooler anchoïade held greater appeal. Eric and I grilled the vegetables over hot coals and dressed them with the anchoïade. In the Catalan tradition, it’s called escalivada, which refers to cooking the vegetables over hot coals. So that’s what I call this. The versatile anchoïade works well as a sauce here as well as for meat or fish and can also be eaten with fresh cheese such as ricotta.–Chad Robertson
LC Hard-to-Pronounce Recipe Note
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. As with bagna cauda, anchoïade is common to Provence, the land of outdoor markets and Côtes du Rhone wine.
Escalivada | Catalan Bread Salad Recipe
Hands-On Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
- For the bread salad
- 1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into slices 1/4-inch thick
- 3 zucchini or summer squash, cut lengthwise into slices 1/4-inch thick
- 6 gypsy or bell peppers, halved and seeded
- 1 red or yellow onion, cut into slices 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 thick slices day-old bread hewn from an artisanal loaf, whole-grain, if desired whether store-bought or homemade
- 2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups mixed fresh flat-leaf parsley and basil leaves, torn into pieces
- 8 to 10 fresh figs, any variety, halved (optional)
- For the anchoïade
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1/2 cup walnuts halves or pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- Grated zest and juice of 1 average-size lemon, preferably organic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup dried figs, preferably Mission or some other dark-colored variety, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make the bread salad
- 1. Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.
- 2. Brush the eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and onion slices generously with some of the olive oil. Grill the vegetables, turning as needed, until they soften and are slightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes. If desired, cut each slice into smaller pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
- 3. Brush the bread slices with some of the olive oil. Grill, turning as needed, until crisp and slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and cut each slice in half or into smaller pieces.
- Make the anchoïade
- 4. Place the garlic and anchovies in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound them into a paste. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, or if you simply don’t have time, just toss them in the food processor, knowing you’ll end up with a less chunky, less rustic puree.) 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 dried figs. Season with salt and pepper.
- 5. 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.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
- Zany Zuni Bread Salad from Amateur Gourmet
- Summer Panzanella from In Good Taste
- Roasted Rabbit with Shaved Celery and Fried Bread Salad from Leite's Culinaria
- Warm Sourdough Bread Salad with Chicken from Leite's Culinaria
Escalivada | Catalan Bread Salad Recipe © 2010 Chad Robertson. Photo © 2010 Eric Wolfinger. All rights reserved.