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Witlof xato

Australian Gourmet Traveller Spanish tapas recipe for witlof xato.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • Serves 4
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Witlof xato
Xato is a typical Catalan salad of salt cod, anchovy and tuna with a roasted nut and red pepper sauce.


  • 2 white witlof, leaves separated
  • To serve: giant Antigua anchovies (see note)
Red pepper sauce
  • 4 canned piquillo peppers (see note)
  • 165 gm (¾ cup) blanched almonds, roasted
  • 40 gm (½ cup) hazelnuts, roasted, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar, or to taste


  • 1
    For red pepper sauce, process peppers, almonds, hazelnuts, garlic and anchovies in a food processor until combined. Add extra-virgin olive oil until incorporated, then sherry vinegar and enough water to thin to dollop consistency. Makes about 500ml.
  • 2
    Arrange witlof on a serving plate and serve with red pepper sauce and anchovies.


Giant Antigua anchovies are available from
. Piquillo peppers are wood-fired Spanish peppers available from Spanish delicatessens and specialty food stores. The Australian versions in jars don’t have as authentic a flavour.
Drink Suggestion: A bone-dry manzanilla sherry. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Lisa Featherby