I will attempt to make this very delicious vegetable spread today! Wish me luck.
8 lbs fresh eggplants
6 lbs red or green peppers
2 lbs onions
2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups tomato paste or can whole peeled tomatoes or tomatoe juice
2 cups olive oil
Over an open flame (gas stove or grill) completely blacken the skins of the eggplants and peppers.
Peel skins off immediately. Easiest way to get the last bits off is to do it under a slow running faucet.
Puree each of the three vegetables separately in a food processor. And place each in a separate bowl when you are finished.
Place oil and onion in a large pot.
Saute onions for about 4 minutes over medium-low heat.
Add eggplant, onion, salt and pepper.
Cook until a thin layer of oil remains on top and when a spoonful of zacusca is removed, only the oil should run off the spoon, not the zacusca.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper to meet your tastes.
Jar them or use now, or give to friends 🙂
or for a more detailed set of instructions:
- To grill the eggplants, make sure you poke holes with a knife, so they don’t explode. Grill them until soft and charred. After the eggplants have cooled off, remove the peel, using a knife, if you’ve cooked them enough, the peel should come off easily.
- Grill the peppers, or roast them in the oven until they are almost completely charred.
- Let cool and remove all the peel and seeds from them and wash them well.
- Place the eggplant in a colander and let it drain off any excess water. Do the same with the peppers. This may take about half hour or so.
- The next step you can do in small batches, depends how big your food processor is, but place some eggplant into the food processor and pulse a few times until the eggplant is finely chopped but you don’t want it to be look like a paste. Repeat the same with the peppers.
- In a very large pot heat the oil and add the onions. Cook the onions until soft, make sure not to burn them. They should just start to change color.
- Carefully add the eggplant and peppers and stir using a wooden spoon. Add tomato sauce. Add the salt, black pepper and bay leaves. This will require 3 hours of cooking over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, I stirred every 10 minutes, just so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.