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Ajvar - Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This is a fantastic pepper sauce originating from Macedonia which is traditionally consumed with bread - though I've put it on chicken and fish as well... One August I was travelling through the countryside with my Macedonia friend and talk of how to handle this year's ajvar season was abundant! This sauce is typically made in the fall when pepper harvests are plentiful, and canned for consumption the rest of the year. There they use the roga pepper, but in this recipe we've used the widely available red bell.

Serves 8


4 red bell peppers (though I've used yellow before as well)

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

6-10 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 - 1 cap of apple cider vinegar

1. These peppers are best prepared on the grill for the best flavor. However, when I'm craving this in winter I've also blackened the peppers on a high temperature cast iron pan and finished cooking them in the oven (bake at 350F until soft). If you have a coil stovetop you can also blacken them there, as below.

2. Once the peppers are cooked place them in a covered baking dish until cool. This allows the peppers to steam, which releases their skin.

3. Once cool, peel the peppers. Discard the stems, seeds, pith, and skin.

4. Traditionally, a meat grinder is used to make the sauce, but I finely chop the peppers to the desired texture. (Food processor will make the peppers too fine.)

5. Cook garlic in greased pan until fragrant and add to the pepper pot.

6. Place the ground peppers into a pot over medium heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add salt.

6. Mix the pepper pot consistently to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture as fully dry (but not burning!) remove from heat.

7. Add olive oil and stir to blend. Mix in apple cider vinegar to taste.

Nutrition Facts (approx.): 1 serving

Calories: 85.5

Total Fat: 7.0 g

Saturated Fat: 1.0 g

Sodium: 300 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 6.0 g

Added Sugar: 0 g

Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g

Total Protein: 1.0 g

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