Xató is a traditional Catalan dish first referred-to in a document of the 19th Century. In our region it is associated with the ceremony of tapping the wine barrels (aixetonament) – the fitting of a tap to allow the flow of wine.
It is made with leaves of escarola – a sharp-tasting lettuce, de-salted fish (such as cod, tuna, anchovies or white anchovies boquerones) topped with a delicious sauce consisting of almonds, toasted hazelnuts ,garlic, nyora peppers, bread, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Every town has developed its own version of this dish ,so one can find slight differences in the recipes and ingredients used. El Xató is a healthy Mediterranean dish that can be tasted from November to April during escarola season.
The regions in Catalonia where Xató is typically eaten are Garraf, Alto Penedes and Bajo Penedes. So there is a route that can be followed where you can taste all Xató's different versions. There are 53 restaurants making their own version. I think it's a fun challenge to discover and taste these variations. The route is associated to wine discovery as these three just mentioned regions have a rich wine tradition. The route is also associated to music, architecture and art.
I am providing the link of the route where you can check the list of restaurants serving Xató with ideas to combine the gastronomic experience with some cultural experience as well.
If you are based in Sitges and are not in the mood for a drive in the country side (which any way is recommended as it is equally beautiful as it's beaches) you can find 9 restaurants in town serving the Xató.
Photo credit: www.quazoo.com
post by Paola, Xató lover at https://www.casitasitges.com