Ajvar

The word ajvar is probably a word that many of us have never heard of before. It is a word that I bring to you today, and it is a word of Serbian decent. I am not too certain where I came across the name ajvar, but it did catch my attention when I began reading more about it. I have been having an itch lately to make some baba ghanoush, which is basically a Lebanese dish made with eggplant and olive oil. Maybe it was my recent making of garlic naan that had me craving this type of delicious dip, or condiment, if you will. Whatever the case, ajvar might possibly be your next favorite condiment to put on a sandwich.

Ajvar

Ajvar is very simple to make. It is basically red bell peppers, eggplant, a bit of garlic and lemon, and just like that you have a wonderful, lightly spicy and fresh condiment.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil

Simple ingredients. Begin by roasting the red bell peppers and the eggplants, either on a hot grill, or in the oven on high heat. The goal is blacken all of the skin on both the eggplants and the peppers. This process takes about 25 minutes. Once the skins are blackened, place them in a ziplock bag, or paper bag, and let them rest for about another 10 minutes. What happens when the vegetables are sealed in the bag, is that they begin to steam and allow you to easily remove the thicker skins on both vegetables.

Once the vegetables are slightly cooled, remove the skins off of all vegetables as well as their stems. Add the eggplant to a food processor. Before adding the red bell peppers, make sure you remove the seeds from them.

Next, toss in the remaining ingredients and begin pulsing the mixture down until it is nice and smooth. If you want more texture in your ajvar, by all means pulse it down to your desired consistency. Me? I like it nice and smooth.

Transfer this mixture to a large saucepan, and bring it to medium heat, covered, and cook for about one hour on a simmer. Let cool.

Once your ajvar is cooled, pour into storage containers, and when you are ready to eat, simply spread on bread such as naan, or heck, even some nice crostini. First bite, and you will understand how delicious this condiment is. The big question is why are we learning about how awesome ajvar is today?

Hope you enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

2 thoughts on “Ajvar

  1. This is not ajvar. This is some kind of variation of ajvar, lutenica and baba ghanoush on Macedonian called malidzano). Ajvar is strictly made of red peppers (not bell peppers), sunflower oil and salt. The peppers are grilled, then peeled, grounded in grounding machine and and they are frying with sunflower oil and salt, approximately 3 hours. Then, the ajvar should be stored in glass jars, and need to be kept on warm place. It’s eaten with white cheese and glass of jogurt. Here, in Macedonia we traditionally make ajvar every autumn and we eat it in winter. Also, we make lutenica (large pieces od red peppers, carrots and chilly peppers) and malidzano(also called baba ghanoush). We make lots of stuffs for the cold winter.
    Greetings from Macedonia, Skopje.
    Teodora :)

  2. I agree with Teodora on how ajvar is made. I grew up in Chicago and ate it at many meals (I am Serbian) and still do. Say hello to my Serbian brothers & sister with love from Bristol, Wisconsin.

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