"Ember roasting" is used in modern and chic cuisine, however, cooking directly in the fire has ancient origins and is used virtually practically worldwide. It is a super cheap way of taking full advantage of the heat of the embers.
Cooking in contact with the coals will convey an aromatic complex to the food thanks to the smoking and burning effects.
The process is almost elementary. Just light the embers, while making sure to choose good quality or aromatic charcoal. When no more black smoke is emitted and the embers have become grey/white, place the food in direct contact with the hot coals. The pieces are turned often for a more intense smoky flavour, and less often for more delicate notes. Once ready, the pieces must be cleaned of external charred parts, which must not be consumed in any way.
So which food is more suitable to be roasted directly on the embers?
Ember roasting is suitable for all kinds of food, from eggs to fish and meat, but vegetables prove to be the absolute best. Onions, marrows, artichokes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant should be placed directly on the embers with the peel or possibly protected with aluminium foil. The vegetable is cooked when it looks completely deflated and has a very soft texture. Inside the charred surface lies a tender core with a very particular taste derived from the smoke and intense heat.
Smoked cream - truly simple but fantastic. Simply gently separate the pulp from the roasted vegetable, add extra virgin olive oil, spices and fresh herbs to taste and then chop it with a knife or blend the mixture. In a few minutes you will obtain a flavour-filled sauce that can be used on grilled bread or tortilla chips.
Another nice idea to prepare vegetables over coals is a la "cartocciata", wrapped in foil. Simply wrap potatoes or onions individually in aluminium foil and place them on very hot embers. Cook for about 40-60 minutes according to their size. Serve the vegetables directly in their foil wraps so that the guests can dress them at will with melted butter, salt, pepper, sour cream, mayonnaise, oil, rosemary, cheese, and so on.