Ajvar relish is a spread that originates from the Balkans, particularly Serbia, Croatia, and North Macedonia. It is made primarily from roasted red peppers, with some recipes also including eggplant, garlic, and chili peppers. The ingredients are typically pureed or chopped and mixed together with oil and vinegar to create a rich and flavorful spread that can be used as a dip, a sandwich topping, or a condiment for grilled meats. Ajvar is known for its slightly smoky and sweet flavor, as well as its vibrant red color. It is also often enjoyed as a traditional side dish in Balkan cuisine.
- 1 large eggplant
- 4 red bell peppers
- 2 - 5 red chili peppers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 dl lemon juice
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F, alternatively, use the grill for a smokey flavor.
- Roast the eggplant and bell peppers until the skin has become black in color, about 10-15 minutes. Let them rest in a paper bag (optional). The paper bag will absorb moisture and steam.
- When the eggplant and bell peppers have cooled down, remove the skin and also remove the seeds from the bell peppers. Then cut into 1 cm pieces.
- Mince the garlic and chili. Remove the seeds if you want a less spicy result.
- Add everything to a mixer, then add the olive oil and lemon juice, mix, and taste with salt.
- Let it cool and store it in jars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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