Ajvar, spread and dip of the gods. I think you can buy it premade at Whole Foods, but I make my own. It’s a little fussy with the vegetable roasting and such, but it’s soooooo good and worth it. Not to mention nutritious and healthy, I even cut the oil down to just 2 T and it was fine.
Here’s a link to the original post the recipe below comes from http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.co...aviar-and.html
BRYANNA’S AJVAR (BALKAN “SALSA”)
Pronounced Eye-vahr, this is a name of Turkish origin given to a popular Balkan spread or relish made of roasted peppers and eggplant (and sometimes other vegetables, too). Fresh ajvar is always made during the late summer and early autumn, just after the pepper harvest, when many Balkan households also can or bottle their own ajvar for use throughout the year. You can make it as mild or spicy as you like!
I can get this in my area in jars, fairly cheaply (about $4.00 Cnd a jar), but I like the idea of doing my own seasoning, and it’s very easy to make!
My husband didn’t care for the what-I-would-call-“silky” texture of this ajvar, but then, he doesn’t really like eggplant. I have noted below that you can use more pepper and less eggplant if you like, but see also the zucchini variation below, which he preferred.
3 medium red bell peppers
(NOTE: If you prefer a chunkier texture and redder color, use another pepper and a smaller eggplant)
OPTIONAL: 1 large mildly hot pepper (such as a Hungarian yellow banana pepper)
(NOTE: use more hot peppers instead of adding hot sauce, if you prefer)
1 medium eggplant
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
juice of one medium lemon
1/2 tsp. liquid red hot sauce, or more to taste
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and the eggplant on another. Poke the vegetables in a few places with a large fork. Roast the vegetables until they are somewhat charred on the outside and soft inside—the peppers will, of course, soften faster than the eggplant. Place the veggies inside a closed paper bag for 10 minutes or so— this will help loosen the skins.
This is a messy job, but quick—the skins should just peel away—it’s okay if a bit of pepper skin gets left behind. Remove the stems, and the seeds of the peppers. Rinse the peppers. Chop everything coarsely and then pulse in a food processor to the texture you like. Set aside.
On a small plate, mash the garlic with the salt with the back of a spoon til it is paste-like. In a large skillet, heat the oil a bit, then add the veggies, the salt and garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce and fresh pepper to taste. Simmer the mixture until it has thickened a bit (it will thicken in the jar, too, so don’t cook it down too much). Taste for salt, pepper and hot sauce.
If serving immediately, serve it in a bowl drizzled with olive oil, or pack into 2 sterilized pint jars, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, seal and refrigerate— it will keep for several weeks, although you’ll probably find many uses for it! (I have read that you can freeze it, too, but have not tried that myself.)
ZUCCHINI AJVAR: Omit the eggplant and use a chunk of large zucchini (this is a good way to use those overgrown ones!) about the size of a medium eggplant. (NOTE: you can use 4 red peppers and a slightly smaller chunk of zucchini if you prefer—it will be redder in color that way.) Otherwise, proceed as for the recipe above. I found that it needed about 1/2 tsp. more salt when using the zucchini, for some reason.