ajvar, food, recipe, red pepper spread

1. Gather the ingredients.

  • 5 red, yellow, or orange peppers (I used 4 red and 1 yellow)
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

ajvar, ajvar recipe, green family, food, cooking

2. Prepare the peppers and eggplant.

Set the oven to a high broil. Cut the peppers in half, seed them, and place cut side down on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet. Cut the top off the eggplant, cut in half, and score the flesh of the eggplant. Place the cut side down on the baking sheet as well.

ajvar, healthy recipe, spread, red pepper and eggplant spread

3. Roast the peppers and eggplant.

Broil the peppers and eggplant for about 15 minutes, until the peppers skin is blackened. Take peppers out of the oven and carefully place in a paper bag for about 10 minutes to allow skins to loosen. Flip the eggplant over and return to broiler for another 5-10 minutes, until the flesh has darkened and eggplant is fairly easy to pierce with a fork. Place in a paper bag as well.

red pepper and eggplant spread, ajvar recipe, balkan recipe, food

4. Peel the peppers and eggplant.

Using a knife or your fingers, peel and scrape away the blackened skin of the peppers as much as possible, leaving the soft pepper underneath. It’s okay if there is a little skin attached, but the more skin you remove, the smoother the ajvar will be. Remove the skin from the eggplant. You should be able to peel it away with a little more effort than the peppers. If the skin is sticking, simply cut it away, then cut the eggplant into large chunks. Remove any large clumps of seeds.

ajvar recipe, red pepper and eggplant spread, food, cooking

5. Puree the peppers and eggplant.

Coarsely chop the peppers and place in a food processor along with the eggplant pieces. Puree, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is smooth.

ajvar, food, cooking, red pepper and eggplant spread

6. Cook the puree.

Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium low. Add the puree and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, salt, and 1 more Tbsp of olive oil, stirring to meld completely. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.

red pepper and eggplant spread, how-to, healthy recipe, vegan recipe

7. Serve the ajvar in a variety of dishes.

Once the ajvar is cooked, it can be used immediately on sandwiches, as a dip, or as a healthy snack. The ajvar will also keep for at least a week in the fridge, making it a perfect condiment for when a meal needs a healthy boost of veggies and color! Enjoy!

vegetarian, vegan recipe, red pepper and eggplant spread, ajvar

Ajvar: Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Spread

  • 5 red, yellow, or orange peppers (I used 4 red and 1 yellow)
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Set the oven to a high broil. Cut the peppers in half, seed them, and place cut side down on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet. Cut the top off the eggplant, cut in half, and score the flesh of the eggplant. Place the cut side down on the baking sheet as well. Broil the peppers and eggplant for about 15 minutes, until the peppers skin is blackened. Take peppers out of the oven and carefully place in a paper bag for about 10 minutes to allow skins to loosen. Flip the eggplant over and return to broiler for another 5-10 minutes, until the flesh has darkened and eggplant is fairly easy to pierce with a fork. Place in a paper bag as well.

Using a knife or your fingers, peel and scrape away the blackened skin of the peppers as much as possible, leaving the soft pepper underneath. It’s okay if there is a little skin attached, but the more skin you remove, the smoother the ajvar will be. Remove the skin from the eggplant. You should be able to peel it away with a little more effort than the peppers. If the skin is sticking, simply cut it away, then cut the eggplant into large chunks. Remove any large clumps of seeds. Coarsely chop the peppers and place in a food processor along with the eggplant pieces. Puree, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is smooth.

Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium low. Add the puree and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, salt, and 1 more Tbsp of olive oil, stirring to meld completely. Cook for another 10-15 minutes. Once the ajvar is cooked, it can be used immediately on sandwiches, as a dip, or as a healthy snack. The ajvar will also keep for at least a week in the fridge, making it a perfect condiment for when a meal needs a healthy boost of veggies and color! Enjoy!