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Welcome to the delicious world of Zacuscă! A traditional Romanian eggplant and red pepper spread that is incredibly flavorful and a crowd favorite. This easy-to-make recipe has been handed down from generation to generation in many different cultures, making it an all-time classic. Whether you’re looking for something quick to make for your next family gathering or want a tasty condiment for vegetables, sandwiches, or toast – this Zacuscă spread is sure to please everyone! Its robust flavor will have you coming back for more every time. Join us now as we take you to through the simple preparation process of making this delicious Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)!
Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă): A wholesome, delicious, and great dish that’s perfect for sharing!
Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă) is a scrumptious Vegan eggplant and red pepper spread widely enjoyed in Romania and Transylvania. This simmering Mediterranean-style spread is made with roasted eggplant, red bell pepper, onions, tomato paste, and bay leaves.
This Vegan twist on the Romanian classic can be served as a meal on its own or enjoyed with fresh crusty bread. Serve the warm spread during family gatherings or weekend get-togethers for an easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing side dish. Not only is Zacuscă Vegan, but it also provides all sorts of nutrients including Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and plenty of dietary fiber. Try it today to experience the Vegan joy that comes from savoring this traditional Romanian delight!
Eggplant is a nutrient-dense vegetable that offers a variety of health benefits. It provides important vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and folate which aid in energy production, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Eggplant also contains polyphenols like chlorogenic acid which help to regulate glucose metabolism, preventing diabetes or other metabolic disorders. Furthermore, eggplant is packed with dietary fiber; just one cup provides 4 grams which improves digestion and satisfies hunger.
Bell peppers are an often-overlooked vegetable when it comes to health and nutrition, but they offer a variety of positive health benefits. Rich in vitamins A and C, bell peppers contain antioxidant properties that can help protect our bodies from the impact of free radicals. Their high vitamin C content also helps support our immune systems, increasing the production of white blood cells for better immune responses. Bell peppers are great sources of dietary fiber, promoting regularity and digestion throughout the gut; and we can trust their nutrient stability due to the fact that bell peppers don’t lose many vitamins during cooking like other veggies.
How do I preserve it?
Sterilize the jars. You can easily sterilize the jars and lids by placing them into a very large pan of water (enough so it covers the jars), bringing the water to a boil, and then simmering for 10 mins or so.
Unopened, the zacuscă will keep in the pantry for at least a year. Once opened, store zacuscă in the fridge, and use it within a couple of weeks.
Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)
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Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)
Let's gather the ingredients!
- 1½ pounds eggplants cut in half, lengthwise
- 1 pound red bell peppers
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ pound onions thinly sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp black pepper ground
- ½ tbsp granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the bell peppers and eggplants (cut side down) on the baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes until the eggplant is soft and the bell peppers are blackened.
- While the vegetables are roasting, Saute the onions with 2 tbsp of oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat until lightly caramelized. Add the remaining oil and season with salt.
- Once the eggplants and peppers are cooked, remove them from the oven, and set aside for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the eggplant flesh, and add it to the pan with the onions.
- Add the peppers, tomato sauce, bay leaves, sugar, and ground black pepper. Mix well, and taste. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Increase the heat, and bring the zacuscă to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat, and simmer for about 35 minutes while stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning on the bottom.
- Serve warm or cold, and enjoy with family and friends!
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Overall, Zacuscă is a delicious and nutritious dish with complex flavor combinations. It is an ideal appetizer for any occasion, as it can be eaten hot or cold and is customizable with any other vegetables you may have on hand. Furthermore, zacuscă is very easy to make so you don’t have to worry about spending hours prepping an elaborate recipe. Just let the eggplant and red pepper stew together in the pot and voila! You’ve got a delectable dip that will have your guests asking for seconds. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try adding some different kinds of peppers or topping it off with feta cheese for extra flavor? There’s really no wrong way to enjoy this traditional Romanian spread so get creative in the kitchen and whip up your own version of this vibrant dish.
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