Info

All demo content is for sample purposes only, intended to represent a live site. Please use the RocketLauncher to install an equivalent of the demo, all images will be replaced with sample images.

2 November 2018

Ajvar is a versatile Serbian roasted red pepper and eggplant sauce or spread. It is rich and flavorful and can be used in so many ways, as a condiment, sauce or relish. Here is the recipe.

If you’re a fan of eggplants, Ajvar is a recipe you’re definitely going to love, and even if you’re not a fan of eggplants, this sauce just might sway you to change your mind.

Ajvar, pronounced “Eye Var”, is a sauce or condiment made primarily with red peppers and oil, though an extremely popular variation includes eggplant (called Malidzano), which I’ve chosen to make here. You’ll find it common in the cuisine of the Balkans. In Serbia, Ajvar is called “Vegetable Caviar”.

Sounds like something we all want!

Ajvar is made by roasting red peppers, either directly over a fire or over a grill, though you can roast them in the oven. Traditionally it is made with sweeter peppers, though very commonly made with spicier peppers.

Holding an eggplant

The extremely popular also roasts eggplants at the same time. Though eggplant is not required, it’s such a great addition, I highly suggest including it.

Let’s talk about how we make Ajvar, shall we?

How to make Ajvar – the Recipe Method

First, heat a grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. If using wood pellets for the smoky flavor, get those ready now. See the recipes NOTES on this.

Poke holes into the eggplant skin in several areas with a fork and set it on the grill along with the red peppers.

Grill the eggplant and peppers about 30 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the red pepper skins char and puff up and the eggplant softens all over.

Roasting peppers and eggplant to make Ajvar

Remove them from the heat. Cover them in a bowl with a towel to let them steam.

When cooled, peel away the pepper skins and toss them out. Scoop out the eggplant and discard the skin and stem.

Add the roasted peppers and eggplant to a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Process it all to your preference, either smoother or chunkier.

Processing the ingredients to make Ajvar

Pour the mixture into a large pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors develop even further.

Simmering the Ajvar in a pot

Adjust for salt and pepper and serve!

Serving Suggestions for Ajvar

The recipe is usually served as a spread for bread, but can be served as a side dish.

However, there are so many other options! Consider serving Ajvar over grilled vegetables. Serve it as a table sauce/condiment with pretty much anything.

Spoon it over sandwiches for some extra zing. Use it to punch up grilled meats and fish. I’ve even tried it as a pasta sauce and we loved it

Highly recommended!

Recipe Notes

Wood fire roasting is pretty key in making Ajvar, but if you’re in a rush, you can use the grill without the wood smoke. Try using your smoker to get a good roast on them.

The oven is just fine, though you won’t quite get that authentic smoky element Ajvar is known for.

Note that this is not a HOT sauce, though you CAN make it with hotter peppers. see below. You can easily heat things up with spicy flakes or powders. It may not be HOT, but it is BIG on flavor.

About the Chili Peppers

Most recipe will call for using bell peppers, though you can use any thicker fleshed sweeter red peppers, such as Corno di Toro peppers, Italian sweets, or Marconis. Bell peppers are great here.

I’ve also seen Ajvar made with large Elephant Ear chili peppers, which are about the size of bell peppers with a thicker flesh. Such great peppers to cook with.

I used a mix of bell peppers and some mid level spicy peppers I grew in my garden this year. So delicious.

Recipe Variations

There are few variations of ajvar, so feel free to experiment. As mentioned, traditionally it is made with only roasted red peppers and oil, though eggplant is an extremely popular addition, as is tomato.

Try Some of My Other Popular Sauce Recipes

This Ajvar is ready to eat, in a bowl

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Ajvar – Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 
Ajvar is a versatile Serbian roasted red pepper and eggplant sauce or spread. It is rich and flavorful and can be used in so many ways, as a condiment, sauce or relish. Here is the recipe.
Course: Main Course, sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: eggplant, sauce
Servings: 8
Calories: 96 kcal
Ingredients
  • 4-5 red bell peppers about 2 pounds – I used a variety of sweet reds and Sigaretto Cayenne types I grew in the garden this year as an alternative
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon spicy chili flakes optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. If using wood pellets for the smoky flavor, get those ready now. See the recipes NOTES on this.
  2. Poke holes into the eggplant skin in several areas with a fork and set it on the grill along with the red peppers.
  3. Grill the eggplant and peppers about 30 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the red pepper skins char and puff up and the eggplant softens all over.
  4. Remove them from the heat. Cover them in a bowl with a towel to let them steam.
  5. When cooled, peel away the pepper skins and toss them out. Scoop out the eggplant and discard the skin and stem.
  6. Add the roasted peppers and eggplant to a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Process it all to your preference, either smoother or chunkier.
  7. Pour the mixture into a large pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors develop even further.
  8. Adjust for salt and pepper and serve!
Recipe Notes

Lasts about a week.

Makes about 2 cups.

NOTES: The wood smoke is completely optional, but it does add a nice smoky flavor. If smoking on the grill, set the pellets in your grill’s smoker box and set it over flames so the wood chips will light for you. You can to get a good amount of smoke on the peppers and eggplant, if desired. As an alternative to the grill, use your oven and roast as above at 450 degrees F to achieve the same effect.

Nutrition Facts
Ajvar – Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 96 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Potassium 267mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 39%
Vitamin C 95.1%
Calcium 1.2%
Iron 2.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ajvar Recipe - Ajvar is a versatile Serbian roasted red pepper and eggplant sauce or spread. It is rich and flavorful and can be used in so many ways, as a condiment, sauce or relish. Here is the recipe. #Serbian #Sauce

0 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin104
Share3
Yum1
Tweet
Email
108 Shares