sweet & sour

Now that the summer is in full swing beautiful vegetables like peppers, aubergines and courgettes are in season. They won’t stay that way forever but you can preserve their summer goodness in jars and keep it for these winter months. Of course you can just preserve vegetables on their own but you can also save yourself cooking time later by producing a delightful sweet and sour sauce and use it on rice or rice and chicken in the winter.

peppers

Ingredients:

5 bell peppers

3 courgettes

1 small aubergine

1 onion

1 cup tomato puree

1 Tbsp dried oregano

2 Tbsp dried paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 cup sugar

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Cube the vegetables into small 1cm pieces. Place in a bowl, add salt, stir and set in the fridge overnight.

 

On the next day put the vegetables in a colander or sieve and let the juices drain. You will not be using the juices.

Place the vegetables in a pot and start cooking them. Cook for 20 minutes and in the meantime put sugar, water and vinegar in a separate pot, stir and heat until sugar has dissolved.

Add all the spices and tomato puree to the veggies, follow with the vinegar mixture. Mix everything and let it continue to cook while you’re prepping the jars.

peppers and courgette

Preheat your oven to 100C/210F and put four 0.5l/pint jars in the oven without lids for 10 minutes. I cannot guarantee that this mixture will yield exactly 2l/4pints so it might be a good idea to add another, smaller jar or be prepared to eat the remaining sauce within the next couple of days. Take the lids, place in a bowl and cover them with hot water from the kettle.

I use jars that I have kept after pickles, jams etc., and I don’t own any fancy canning equipment so this recipe is not calling for any.

When the jars are ready take them out and using kitchen mittens spoon the boiling hot sauce into hot jars and tightly close the lids.

Place the jars on the counter. In an hour or so you will hear popping sounds as the lids will start sealing. All of them should be sealed and you can check by pressing on the middle of the lid to see if it is concave.

courgettes

You can keep sealed jars in the pantry until you’re ready to eat the sauce in the autumn or winter.

 

 

And smile because you’re done and you have some delicious food for the cold months! 😀

portrait

 

© Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

veggie feast

This is very much a comfort food for me but also a way to eat a lot of vegetables. This is a feast of vegetables in an open-faced pie.

The danger here is for the vegetable juices to run and soak the dough but as long as you do what I did, it shouldn’t happen. And I would eat this dough even when soaked because it’s delicious. You can be a bit adventurous and use different veggies if you like. I know this version tastes good. If you bought kale especially for this recipe and you’re not sure what to do with the rest of it, you can toss it in the freezer and use the same way you would use spinach later.

vegetable feast pie

For the crust:

1 cup warm water

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp dried yeast

 

vegetable feast pieFor the filling:

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1 big, curly kale leaf

1 garlic clove

2 Tbsp tomato puree

a handful of broccoli florets

a couple of mushrooms

a small piece of Parmesan cheese

a bigger (around 100g) piece of another cheese (I’m using a Norwegian brand called Jarlsberg)

1 tsp of dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

 

 

 

 

Start with the crust, mix all of the crust ingredients in a bowl and knead until it forms a dough ball. Leave in a warm place under plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

When you come back after that time, the dough should have risen. Knead it again to get the air out of it and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap again.

Now you can start chopping all the vegetable ingredients. Once you are half way through that process, preheat the oven to 220C/425F, the best program to use is both top and bottom heat.

vegetable feast pie

Once all the vegetables are chopped, take the dough out of the bowl, spray a baking dish with cooking oil, so that the dough doesn’t stick and spread the dough all over the bottom and sides of the dish.

Don’t worry if you’re not very good with dough and there is a hole, just repair it with some leftover dough later.

vegetable feast pievegetable feast pie

Once done spread the tomato puree around the bottom and sprinkle with herbs. Next start layering the vegetables until you run out. Cover with cheese slices.

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Bake for 40 minutes or until cheese browns.

 

vegetable feast pie

 

vegetable feast pie

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

lecso

Lecso is originally a Hungarian dish but it is also known and eaten in other countries of the area. The version I’m giving you is a Polish take on it. This is just one way of making it but it’s my favourite way. Other versionslecso call for lard as the fat, which I don’t like or tell you not to add courgettes. This is my version, influenced by the many times I ate it in Poland and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.

This is a dish with so many delicious vegetables that you can just about forgive yourself having the sausage that goes in it too. It’s a hearty, comforting stew and you can make it quite spicy if you like that. Usually served with a slice of bread, although some people like it with potatoes, which always seems a bit weird to me but by all means go ahead if that appeals to you. I’ve eaten it without the bread and it was still filling and amazing. This is also a one pot operation so no hardcore washing up afterwards.

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If you come across one problem it will be obtaining the right sausage. Any dry one will do, in the worst case even salami, just don’t use hotdogs. Chorizo works great as does Polish dry sausage. In better-stocked supermarkets or food markets you might come across Debrecener sausage and that is highly recommended for lecso. Good Luck!

lecso detailIngredients:

a small splash of oil
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1½ medium size (banana size?) dry sausage
3 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
1 spicy chilli pepper (optional)
2 courgettes
4 tomatoes
spices: red paprika, chilli flakes, salt and black pepper

Take a good, rather big pot and once the onion and garlic are finely chopped, put them on heated oil and start frying while you slice the sausage. You want the kind of slices that you’ll be happy to eat. Not very thick but also not paper thin. Add those slices to the pot as well and let it slightly brown while you’re chopping courgettes and peppers into approximately 1cm cubes/pieces.

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Once chopped, add them to the pot and stir. At this point the dish will stop frying and slowly start boiling. The vegetables will let their delicious juices run. Put tomatoes in a bowl and pour freshly boiled water from the kettle over them to remove the skins.
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Once the skins are off, chop the tomatoes roughly and add to lecso. Add 1 tablespoon of paprika, chilli flakes to your taste and salt. Turn the heat down, put the lid on and let the magic happen for another half an hour.

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If you’re just an average person like me, the chopping should take so much time that once you add tomatoes, it shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes before all of the ingredients are soft and cooked through with lots of juice. Add black pepper and serve in bowls.
lecso

This amount serves 4.

© Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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