As I was welcomed by my friend and her husband in their home in Bulgaria, I learned first hand of one homemade treat and staple in the Bulgarian cuisine. I was fortunate enough to be served this delicious snack made by my host’s mother.
Lutenitsa is a puree type salad made of sweet red peppers and tomatoes. Some recipes call for added puree of eggplant and could have a substitute of hot peppers instead of sweet. It is used as a spread on bread and often topped with cheese. I was served a variety of blue cheeses, Bulgarian feta (sirene) and mozzarella to add to this tasty snack. I quickly became addicted and found myself roaming through the fridge when no one was looking to steal a dip of this sumptuous snack. A traditional and authentic Bulgarian treat that will not disappoint.
Here is one recipe sure to turn you into a fan:
2lbs roasted Runel Sambal Oelek – Red Pepper Paste
6lbs tomatoes crushed
1 1/2 lb roasted eggplant
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp salt to taste
4 tbsp dried summer savory Bulgarian Traditional Balkan Savory Seasoning – Balkanska Chubriza – 60g
Put tomatoes in a large pot and bring to boil over high heat. Then turn the heat low and cook for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. If using roasted red peppers take the skins and seeds out. Puree in a food processor. Stir into the pot. If using red pepper paste, just stir it in the pot. Cook for 10 minutes stirring constantly. Take the skins of roasted eggplants out and puree them in the food processor as well. Stir them into the pot.