How To Make Zacusca – Romanian Vegetable Spread
My dears, did you make eggplant Zacusca this year? Or do you know this incredibly delicious food? If not, I invite you to try this traditional eggplant Zacusca recipe, it is a simple and delicious spread.
For a successful Zacusca, you must first of all choose fresh, good quality vegetables. You can cook the eggplants on the grill, (will give to Zacusca a very good light smoky taste) or on the stove flame or in the oven.
Sometimes I prefer the oven because I get rid of the smoke from the kitchen, and the egg plants are ready much faster. I put them under the oven grill and in about half an hour they are ready to use.
After baking the eggplants, peel them and let them drain so that you get rid of as much of their juice as possible.
|Prep time||Cook Time||Rest Time||Total Time|
|60 min||100 min||-||160 min|
The eggplant Zacusca is the most widespread and one of the most beloved Zacusca version. There are other varieties, such as dried bean Zacusca and mushroom Zacusca, which, I confess, I do not prepare at home, because we don’t love them as much as eggplant or bean Zacusca.
It is not possible to skip baking the eggplants.
So this will be the first step: bake the eggplants on the grill, on the disc, on the hob, in the oven or where is possible.
Prick the eggplants before baking them to avoid accidents that can occur due to their explosion.
Remove the eggplants, peel them, and transfer in a strainer placed on top of a bowl to collect the liquid that eggplants will leave.
Wash thoroughly the peppers before grinding.
Remove seeds from peppers, and cut them in smaller pieces.
Peel onions, and cut them in quarters.
Put the peppers through a grinder, just like onions and baked, peeled eggplants.
Put the oil and onion, also 1 teaspoon of salt in a pot that is placed on the stove.
Add salt from the beginning to extract the water from the onion. This will cause the onion to simmer, not to fry.
Cook the onion until soft, about 7 to 8 minutes, then add the grinded peppers. Mix well and bring it to boil.
Cook 2 hours, but check and stir every 5 minutes.
After 2 hours of cooking add the tomato juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep tasting.
Cook until is creamy, and the liquid is reduced. Approx another 2 hours. Don’t forget to stir every 5 minutes.
Add the baked and grinded eggplants.
Bring it to boil, check every 1-2 minute and stir carefully, mainly on the bottom. It is important, because at this phase can burn easily, leaving a very bad taste.
Bring it to boil, but after that no need to boil more, because all the ingredients are already cooked.
Finally, the zacusca must have a homogeneous, pasty consistency. Match zacuska to your taste with salt and pepper.
Zacusca is poured hot into sterilised jars, placed on a metal tray, to not to crack.
Close them with lid, turn the jars upside down. Place them in a blanket, covering all around, and let them sit until they will be completely cold.
Put them in your pantry, and enjoy them during the winter.
Enjoy, Good appetite!