Authentic Zacusca Recipe: A Healthy Romanian Vegetable Spread for Bread by 30Seconds Food
Zacusca is a vegetable spread that's popular in Romania, Moldova and in the Balkan region. The spread is made with roasted eggplants and red peppers. It can be found on menus, in grocery stores and in homes all over Romania. Families have their special recipes and pass them down from generation to generation.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes
- 2 medium eggplants, pierced all over with a sharp knife
- 4 large red bell peppers, stems removed and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
- 1 pound tomatoes, chopped (you could use canned tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Here's how to make it:
- Put the eggplant and red bell peppers onto a baking sheet. Bake the vegetables in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until the outside is charred. Remove the peppers to a plate. Flip the eggplants over and continue to bake until soft and blackened, about 20 more minutes. Remove to the plate.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the peppers and eggplants. Put the eggplant flesh into a strainer, sprinkle with salt and let it sit for 1 hour to remove moisture.
- Put the eggplant into a blender along with the red peppers. Pulse until combined but still chunky.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the onion and jalapeno peppers, if using. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the eggplant-pepper mixture, tomatoes, vegetable oil and bay leaf and sugar, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer you cook, the more flavor develops. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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