Roasted Peppers and Aubergine Spread

I bought a jar of Aivar it’s a mix of chargrilled peppers with aubergine that is made throughout the Balkans. When I saw how few ingredients it contains I decided to try making it myself.

When I bought the dragon fruit yesterday I saw this jar of Aivar. I remembered eating this kind of thing on holidays last year. It is so so yummy. It’s sweet and creamy and just delicious.

Naturally I checked to see what exactly was in it. Chargrilled peppers (70%), chargrilled aubergine (20%), sunflower oil (9%) and salt (1%). That’s it. Isn’t that fantastic? It tastes so good and it’s just the natural gorgeousness of the ingredients.

I found a recipe for Ajvar which is the Croatian name for this. It’s a good recipe – very easy to follow. Aivar is Macedonian. But I think each of the countries in that region have a version of this. It’s yummy.

I didn’t actually follow that recipe though. Nor did I stick to the ratio of peppers to aubergine on the ingredients list. I wasn’t going to buy that many peppers or make a big batch of this. I just wanted to see how easy it would be to make this at home. Now, it’s possible you can find this in most supermarkets but I hadn’t noticed it before so … I wanted to see if I could make it in case I don’t come across it again.

I made my small batch with 4 peppers and 1 aubergine. It’s a pain to make to be honest. Anytime I’ve roasted pepppers before I’ve cored and deseeded them first. I didn’t do that here because I wanted to use as much of the flesh as possible and I wanted to remain as moist as possible. Taking off the skin was easy enough. Removing the seeds was … just so messy and took me a long time. They kept sticking to my fingers, kept getting mixed back in with the flesh – very annoying.

I began to suspect that I wouldn’t like what I made half so much. Honestly, the jar is better, it’s a little more oily I think. I might have overcooked the paste. But I was surprised how good the homemade stuff was. Considering I had way more aubergine to peppers than the original version I would have expected it to be much less sweet but it wasn’t really.

Eventhough it’s annoying to make I may well do so again. If I have trouble finding the stuff in the shops, that is. And I’ll make much more of it next time.

Oh and I tried nutritional yeast as a topping for it. Nutritional yeast is a vegan source of vitamin B12. B12 is so essential for your health. And this stuff has a shelf-life of 3 years! Love that.

ingredients
I tried to photo the ingredients list on the jar but … didn’t really work. All it contains is chargrilled peppers and aubergine, sunflower oil and salt. That’s it.

Roasted Peppers and Aubergine Spread

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers - orange or red or yellow or a mix of these
  • 1 small aubergine
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • good pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Place your veg on a baking tray and roast in an oven heated to 200 C. Roasted until their skins are all charred and roasted.
  2. Take the roasted veg out of the oven. Place the peppers in a pan and cover with lid. Leave for 15 - 20 minutes to cool.
  3. Remove the skin and head from the aubergine. Remove the stalks and seeds from the peppers and pull off their skin.
  4. Place the flesh of the veg into a blender. Blend until fairly smooth.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan. Add in the blended veg. Cook on a low heat for 30 minutes or so, stirring every now and then. Turn off the heat and stir in the last tablespoon of oil. Add a pinch of salt, taste and add more if necessary.
  6. Serve on bread, rice or pasta, with eggs or cheese or nutrional yeast - or all three.
http://twimii.com/recipes/roasted-peppers-and-aubergine-spread/

veg-ready-for-roasting
Ready for roasting
cover-to-loosen
When you take the peppers out leave them in a covered bowl or pan to cool and loosen their skin.
peel into pan
I peeled and deseeded the peppers into the pan. I’d love to tell you it was simple – but it was a pain. I was thinking why would you do this when you can just buy a jar?
blend
So once peeled put the peppers and the aubergine into a blender and blend.
cooked
Actually though it does taste good. And you kind of forget that peeling the veg was such a pain. – Still though I’ll just buy it if I can find it in my local supermarket.
nutritional yeast
Is it good with nutritional yeast – that vegan source of vitamin B12? Yes. It’s yummy. To me the nutritional yeast doesn’t taste of cheese or nuts. It’s got a flavour all its own. And it’s a good one.
using the dip
I wanted to show it used in different dishes. And then I didn’t have any left to do a shot of it in a jar…

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