ABC Jams and Preserves Talkback – Ajvar recipe

By popular request from listeners is the recipe for the Ajvar discussed on ABC Tasmania Jams and preserves talkback yesterday

As mentioned there, as eggplant is so expensive in Tasmania at present, I substitute chunks of zucchini  (minus seedy, pithy centre if large) for the weight of the eggplant (about 12cm chunks that is).

I roast them in just a little olive oil in a baking tray in a moderate oven.  I peel them as son as they are cooked

Anyway, here is that recipe:

Ajvar

375g eggplant (aubergine)

750g red capsicums

2 long red chillies

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice one small lemon

3 teaspoons white or cider vinegar

½ teaspoon salt, approximately

½ teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, optional

70ml olive oil

Cut the eggplant in half and bake on a roasting tray at 180 degrees C until the skin blisters and the flesh is soft. Set aside to cool enough to handle, the scrape out the flesh and discard the skin.

Cut the capsicums and chillies in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Place on a baking tray, skin side up and press down flat with the heel of your hand.   Brush with just a little oil (or spray with cooking oil spray) and bake at 180 degrees C until the skin blisters and blackens (you may need to turn on the grill momentarily to achieve this). The aim is to have the flesh of the capsicum soft, but the skin blackened.

Place the capsicum and chillies when ready into a heatproof bowl and cover with cling wrap or a plastic bag. Set aside for ten minutes, then peel off the skin.

Place the eggplant, capsicum and chilli flesh in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, salt and sugar (and dried chillies if using) and process until well combined, then with the motor still running, add the olive oil in a thin but steady stream.

Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Refrigerate immediately.

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