Mrs Em H Blog

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Trying to keep summer for longer or ljutenica and ajvar. As an inspiration anyway.

Trying to keep summer for longer or  ljutenica and ajvar. As an inspiration anyway.


I am not good at following recipes, especially for savoury dishes. So I made something inspired by ljutenica and ajvar. Both are type of veggie paste from Balkans, both are made with roasted peppers and tomatoes. They are the dishes which every household does a bit differently. It as well comes from tradition of using whatever ingredients you have to hand.  My variation differs from both and takes inspiration from both. And it’s dead easy to make. All you need is the oven and blender. So put on the roasting tray sheet of baking paper and scatter peppers (preferably 6 red ones), few cloves of garlic (still in husks) and an aubergine. Set the oven on 200C or gas 6 and roast it until peppers look burned. Then put them into a plastic bag, seal and leave for 10- 15 minutes. In a meantime put 2 small, white onions into a blender and give it a chop. Add scooped out aubergine and peeled garlic, and chop some more. Now for a bit messy part you can employ your other half or children – peel the peppers. The skins will be coming off easily if you baked them. Add the peppers to the blender (just the flesh – discard all the seeds) and chop some more.

Now heat up a pan, pour some sunflower oil and add to it 2 tsp of ground caraway seeds, 2 tsp of smoked hot paprika and 3 tsp of sweet paprika, fry them of for a short while (don’t burn!), than tip all the stuff from blender and let it cook. Add a whole tube of tomato puree and cook some more. Season with salt- just to taste.

And it’s ready. Serve with some nice crusty bread or use as a base for sauces.