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“ZACUSCĂ”, Romanian Eggplant, Pepper and Tomato Relish

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Adjust Servings:
1 kg of Aubergine/Eggplant
500 g of Paprika red
200 g of Onion
500 g of Tomato Passata
50 ml of Extra Virgin olive oil
to taste Salt
to taste Grounded black pepper
1 Bay leaf

“ZACUSCĂ”, Romanian Eggplant, Pepper and Tomato Relish

  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • 40 min
  • Serves 4
  • Medium




Once again, we have Romanian cuisine with a vegetable dish. The name of this eggplant relish sounds like the Ukrainian word “Zakuska”. Classically, all the vegetables are grilled to a blackened skin and then stewed in tomato sauce. This creates a smoky dish. Meanwhile, we’ll make a year-round version in the oven, it will be just as good, even healthier.

Try it!

Bon Appétit!

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Peel the eggplants and dice them into medium-sized cubes. Wash the bell peppers. Peel the onions and cut each onion into 8 slices. Put onions and eggplant in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil or avocado oil and mix them.


Preheat the oven to the temperature of about 220 to 230 degrees Celsius.
Depending on the oven, the vegetables can be baked together or one at a time. The time will also be different, just keep an eye on the vegetables and take them out when they have reached the desired browning.
Now, place the whole peppers on one baking tray. Bake them until the skin is black then take them out, put them in a bowl and immediately cover them with a lid letting them cool down. Take off the skin, remove the tail and seeds, put it into a frying pan with high sides or a saucepan with a thick bottom.
Place onions and eggplants in a single layer on another, possibly several, baking trays so that they do not touch each other. Bake them until the corners are browned but not black. Place the cooked vegetables into the frying pan or saucepan with the peppers.


Add the tomato sauce (passata), the remaining olive oil, bay leaf and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Simmer all together for about 15 minutes. The vegetables will soften, the moisture from the tomato sauce will evaporate, i.e. the mixture will become thicker and more homogeneous. When the vegetables are done, take them off the heat and grind them with an immersion blender to a smooth consistency, in which there are still small pieces, i.e. not yet mashed. Taste it and season it with salt and pepper.
Bon Appétit!

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