What’s For Dinner?


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Once you try this Balkan condiment, you may find yourself putting it on everything -- crackers, sandwiches, grilled meats, fish . . . or just a spoon. It's the perfect time to make ajvar (pronounced eye-var) when red peppers and eggplants are in season. -- Deborah Geering

Hands on time: 20 minutes  Total time: 1 hour  Serves: 12 (about 3 cups)


    6 red bell peppers
    1 red jalapeno or serrano chile, optional
    1 large eggplant
    1 to 2 cloves garlic
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional


On a gas grill or under a broiler, roast the bell and jalapeno peppers and eggplant, turning every few minutes, until the skins are uniformly blackened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Place the blackened peppers in a paper bag and seal; place the eggplant in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool 10 minutes.
Under cool running water, peel the skin from the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Set aside. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, scoop out the largest clumps of seeds (but don't worry about leaving some behind) and scoop the flesh away from the charred skin with a spoon.
In the bowl of the food processor, chop the garlic and jalapeno, if using. Add the eggplant, vinegar, oil and salt and puree. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Place the red peppers in the food processor and process until almost smooth. Stir into the eggplant mixture, seasoning to taste with sugar and additional salt, if necessary.


Per 1/4-cup serving: 58 calories (percent of calories from fat, 51), 1 gram protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 180 milligrams sodium.

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