The bold flavor of the Ajvar sauce is of Slavic origin. This simple mixture of roasted red peppers and eggplant gets its kick from sweet paprika and crushed red pepper, and if you like more heat, add extra here. This recipe makes 2 cups, but you will only need 1 cup for this dish. Cover and refrigerate the leftovers for another use. Ajvar goes particularly well with roasted vegetables, but try swirling some into scrambled eggs or adding a colorful dollop to soups.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 eggplant (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Hungarian sweet paprika, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper, or to taste
- 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus
- 1 1/2 lb. baby new potatoes
- 1 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
To make the Ajvar:
1. Heat the broiler to high. Put the bell peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet close to the heat source. Turn the peppers frequently until the skin is charred on all sides. Remove from the broiler, and reduce the oven temperature to 450°F. Wrap the peppers in the foil, and let them steam until soft. Skin, stem, seed, devein and coarsely chop them.
2. Spray a parchment-lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the eggplant, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Lightly spray it again with cooking spray. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once, until the eggplant is tender but not mushy or browned. Set aside to cool.
3. Put the roasted peppers, eggplant, paprika, crushed red pepper and lemon juice into a food processor, and process until the mixture forms a thick paste. Scrape into a serving bowl, and set aside.
To make the Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus:
4. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Halve the small potatoes, and quarter the larger ones. Put them onto 1 baking sheet, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Roast for 25 minutes, or until just tender. Put the asparagus on the other sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
5. To serve, place a bowl of Ajvar in the center of a platter, surround it with the potatoes, and edge the platter with the asparagus. Serve the dish warm or at room temperature.
- Calories: 130
- Carbohydrate Content: 28 g
- Fiber Content: 4 g
- Protein Content: 4 g
- Sodium Content: 10 mg
- Sugar Content: 5 g