Roasted Red Peppers – Ajvar – with Neufchâtel/Feta Cheese Spread

Ajvar with cheese spread

Ajvar with cheese spread

I first tried canned, or shall I say jarred, ajvar many years ago at a potluck.  Since then our friend Michael Ball has developed his own recipe and it is his potluck specialty.

This Turkish dish has many versions and can also include roasted eggplant.  Served with a Neufchâtel/Feta cheese spread on a sourdough baguette it makes a wonderful appetizer or midday snack.

Here is my version:

Ajvar

4 red sweet bell peppers (I have also used ripe red Anaheims for a spicier version)

Broil the peppers in the oven or roast on the grill, turning them frequently.  They should be blackened or blistered all over without burning all the way through the flesh.  This should take about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover with foil or slide tray into a brown paper bag to steam for 15 minutes.  Peel off the skins and remove seeds.  Dice the peppers.  (If I have enough ripe peppers from our fall garden I roast, peel, dice and freeze a cup or so in baggies.  Then thaw and make the spread.)

Mix the peppers, about 1 cup or more, with:

3-4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1-2 T. Balsamic Vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

Marinate for an hour or two.

Neufchâtel/Feta Cheese Spread

4 oz Neufchâtel

2-4 oz feta

Bring cheeses to room temperature and mash together.

Spread cheese mixture on baguette slices or whole grain crackers (as shown), top with marinated peppers and enjoy!

Note:  All the amounts of the ingredients are subjective.  Please adjust quantities to your taste.

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