Ajvar, a traditional Macedonian pepper spread is known as one of the country's most famous delicacies.
Learn what Ajvar is and enjoy the video, recipe and photos that will show you how to make this jewel from the Southern Balkan Peninsula.
Here you can find out what this famous and delicious Macedonian spread is made out of and how you can make it yourself. Below you can find a recipe as well as couple of videos that should help you make your own ajvar.
Ajvar (pronounced: eye-vaar) is popular appetizer or side dish made of roasted paprika, ripe tomatoes, and sometimes string beans. Ajvar is a seasonal dish in Macedonia, always made in late summer and early autumn, just after the paprika harvest. Many households also can or bottle their own ajvar for use throughout the winter season.
- by Katerina Nitsou. Check out her Macedonian Cookbook at http://macedoniacookbook.com/
-8-12 fresh red paprika (mild or medium-hot, to taste)
- 4 medium-size eggplants
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Roast the paprika and eggplants over charcoal or a gas flame, or bake them in a preheated 475 F oven, until the skin is blistered and darkened. Place the roasted vegetables in a paper bag and let them steam in their own heat for 10 minutes. Peel off and discard the burnt skin along with the steams and seeds. Mash the peppers and eggplant pulp together to form a slightly chunky mass. You can do this with a fork or in a food processor.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and saute the onion until very soft. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pepper-eggplant pulp, mixing well. Slowly drizzle the remaining oil into the mixture, stirring constantly to incorporate all of the oil. Add lemon juice or vinegar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley.
Serve as an appetizer to spread on thick slices of country-style white bread or flat pita bread with chunks of feta cheese, or use as a side dish to accompany grilled or roasted meats.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings, as an appetizer or side dish
Watch the video to learn how to make Ajvar while enjoying traditional Macedonian songs
What is Ajvar?
Make Your Own Ajvar!
The First Step:
The Finishied Product: