Ajvar — Roasted Red Pepper & Aubergine Dip
Roasted Red Pepper & Aubergine Dip. Macedonians take their Ajvar very seriously. In the autumn, when red peppers are in season in the region, families get together outdoors with dozens of pounds of peppers to make enough jars of Ajvar for the winter months to come. Ajvar is perfect with some bread and vegan cheese for lunch!
4 - 6
- 1 medium aubergine
- 6 red peppers
- 60ml (2 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp crushed chillies
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- Using a fork, pierce the aubergine skin a few times all around.
- Roast the peppers and aubergines over a charcoal grill or a gas flame until the skins are completely charred and blistered. Alternatively put them under a hot grill (directly on the rack or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper), rotating every 15 minutes until charred, for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Place the roasted vegetables into a paper bag or a heatproof container. Seal and set aside for 20 minutes until cool.
- Peel off and discard the skin and stems from the aubergine and peppers and remove the pepper seeds. Coarsely chop the flesh and set aside.
- In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion until very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt and black pepper to the pot, and stir in the pepper and aubergine pulp.
- Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend the mixture to a coarse paste with a slightly chunky texture. Be careful not to completely purée the mixture. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator.
Recipe from Macedonia: The Cookbook by Katerina Nitsou (Published by Kitchen Press).