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Romanian Zacusca, for all you pepper and aubergine growers!


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  • Romanian Zacusca, for all you pepper and aubergine growers!

    A romanian friend made an enormous pot of Zacusca while staying with us, and it is truly fantastic. Spread it on bread, use over pasta, in ravioli, as base for tarts or quiche, the list is endless and it has rich, almost meaty taste although it's pure veggies! Hope some of you grapes will try it, it's well worth the effort, and will keep well in the freezer, or processed in a pressure canner. My recipe is by eye, so I have found this one on t'internet which is almost exactly the same (this one uses several varieties of pepper, whereas I just use plain bell peppers for all of it). You can obviously make it to your own taste, ie add hot peppers if you wish. Anyway, I have cut and pasted the recipe and link. Do try, it seems a bit of an effort, but no more than making Jam IMO, and I can almost guarantee you won't be disappointed!

    Romanian Eggplant Zacusca

    Makes about 3 pints
    4 medium eggplants
    2 green bell peppers
    4 red or yellow bell peppers
    2 large sweet peppers
    2-1/2 pounds canned diced tomatoes
    1/3 cup oil (preferably sunflower or olive)
    2 medium onions, chopped
    1 fresh hot pepper, chopped
    1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    Preheat the oven on "broil". (aka 'Grill')

    Eggplants: Pierce a few holes in the skin with a fork. Broil one side until the skin is blackened, then turn and broil the other side. When done, cut the stems off and rest the eggplants on a tilted surface to drain the juice for about 15 minutes. Next, peel off the skin, and process in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

    Peppers: Core and de-stem the peppers, then broil until the skins are mostly blackened, usually 5 minutes. Once cool, remove the skin from the peppers, chop and set aside.
    Next: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook until they just begin to caramelize (10 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, peppers, hot peppers, and eggplant. Add the salt, black pepper, and sugar. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about one hour, stirring frequently to keep from burning.

    To store: if you know how to can, do so. Zacusca improves with age. If canned and stored in a cool place for 3 or 4 months, the taste will be fantastic!
    Otherwise, serve chilled on bread.

    This recipe is from:
    All at once I hear your voice
    And time just slips away
    Bonnie Raitt

  • #2
    Thanks for taking the time to post that MuckDiva. I think it will make a great spread for Pizza or Naan bread. I'll give it a go.

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.


    • #3
      Sounds really good! Thanks!

      I was feeling part of the scenery
      I walked right out of the machinery
      My heart going boom boom boom
      "Hey" he said "Grab your things
      I've come to take you home."


      • #4
        Love the sound of that. I'll definitely give it a go. Hope my peppers are up to it. They are stuck at green at the moment.


        • #5
          If I get enough of either I'll certainly have a go, sounds gorgeous.
          Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

 Updated March 9th - Spring


          • #6
            Sounds wonderful, will try it as soon as I have enough peppers, etc.


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