One popular dish from North Macedonia is “Ajvar,” a delicious roasted red pepper and eggplant relish. It can be used as a spread, dip, or condiment and is often enjoyed with bread or grilled meats. Here’s a recipe for Macedonian Ajvar:
- 4 large red bell peppers
- 2 medium-sized eggplants
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Place the red bell peppers and eggplants on a baking sheet lined with foil.
- Roast the red bell peppers and eggplants in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the skins are charred and the vegetables are soft. Turn them occasionally for even roasting.
- Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and let them cool slightly. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the charred skins. Remove the seeds from the red bell peppers and discard.
- Chop the roasted red bell peppers and eggplants into small pieces.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the chopped red bell peppers, eggplants, minced garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Blend until smooth and well combined. You can adjust the consistency by adding more olive oil if desired.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a pinch of sugar if desired.
- Transfer the Ajvar to a jar or container and refrigerate for at least a few hours to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the Ajvar as a spread, dip, or condiment. It goes well with bread, crackers, grilled meats, or as a topping for sandwiches.
Ajvar is a versatile and flavorful dish that is enjoyed throughout North Macedonia and the Balkan region. Enjoy this delicious Macedonian recipe!