Ajvar – Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe

Traditional Serbian Ajvar Recipe

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Ajvar is a Serbian roasted red pepper relish or paste. It’s thick, smoky and a little sweet with prominent notes of garlic throughout. Traditionally the red pepper and eggplant, two of the main ingredients in the sauce, are roasted over a wood fire to infuse every inch with a robust smokiness. Since very few are willing to start a fire to make the sauce, no matter how delicious it is, roasting will do. Once roasted, everything is pureed and you get to enjoy. Ajvar sauce became popular in Yugoslavia after World War II and is still enjoyed today. The name actually comes from the Turkish word havyar meaning caviar which is why the sauce is often referred to as Serbian vegetable caviar. It actually took the place of caviar as a result of a lack of steady production. Authentic ajvar sauce, cooked over an open fire and all, was one of those recipes that were cooked in large batches, jarred and preserved. Fortunately, with modern conveniences, an ajvar recipe is easy to execute and is just as tasty.

Place of Origin: Recipe difficulty:
Serbia Medium
Preparation Time: Cook Time:
10 minutes 35 minutes
Yields: 1 ½ cups of sauce, servings vary

Ajvar Ingredients

  • 5 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 4-5 cloves of unpeeled garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Sauce?

Ajvar Sauce Recipe – Step by Step Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Place the red bell peppers, eggplant and garlic cloves on the baking sheet.
3. Place into the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
4. Remove the garlic and set aside.
5. Return the baking sheet to the oven so the bell peppers and eggplant can finish roasting.
6. Roast for 20-25 more minutes or until both the peppers and eggplant are blackened and soft.
7. Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl with the garlic.
8. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap so the peppers and eggplant can steam (this will make it easy to remove the skins).
9. When steamed and cool enough to handle, peel, remove the stems and seeds. Discard.
10. Transfer the peeled peppers, eggplant, and garlic to a blender or food processor. Give them a rough chop if needed.
11. Pour in the oil.
12. Add some salt, black pepper and process until smooth.
13. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

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Ideas to Use – Burger Stuffed with Ajvar

Ajvar can be eaten alone, used as a dip or spread. If serving as a dip, make a platter with an assortment of items to dip in the condiment. Crusty bread, crackers and/or crisp raw vegetables will do. As for using the ajvar recipe as a spread, the condiment brings a lot of flavor to burgers and sandwiches. Ajvar soup is another option. Use it as a base and add chicken or vegetable broth to achieve a smooth and creamy pureed soup.

Ajvar sauce recipe

Beef burgers stuffed with vegetables and ajvar

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Sauce recipe is fit for:

Vegan, vegetarian, ketogenic, low-carb, low-fat, paleo, low-sodium, lactose-free and gluten-free diets (ensure that the ingredients used read gluten-free).

This roasted red pepper sauce recipe is too easy and yields a palate pleasing result. You are good to go with red bell peppers, eggplant, garlic and oil but feel free to add to the recipe. Crushed red pepper offers heat, warm spices work well and you can even toss in a few olives if you enjoy their signature touch of brininess.

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Chicken Breast with Cheese and Ajvar



Category: Relish

Origin: Serbia

Diets: Gluten free, Ketogenic diet, Lactose free, Low carb diet, Low fat diet, Low sodium, Paleo diet, Vegan diet, Vegetarian diet

Meals: Bread, Burgers, Sandwich, Soups

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