1large aubergine/eggplant - washeddried, and cut in half lengthways
3large red peppers - washeddried, cut in half lengthways, and de-seeded
3 -4largefat cloves of garlic
4tbspextra virgin olive oil + 1 tsp + a drizzle
½tspsea saltor to taste
1chillivery finely chopped (remove the seeds and veins if you don't want too much heat)
Pre-heat your oven to 225c/435f.
Massage 1 tsp of oil over the peppers, aubergine, and unpeeled garlic cloves, and place cut side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Bake for around 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, and the pepper skins are blackened.
Remove from the oven, and put the peppers into a Ziploc bag for 10 minutes.
Very carefully, scrape the aubergine flesh away from the skin (please don't burn yourself), and place into the bowl of a food processor.
Remove the peppers from their bag, and peel away the skins. Add to the aubergines, and pulse a few times, just enough to break up the veggies.
Put the oil into a heavy-based pan, add the ajvar, and stir. Allow to just sit in the pan for 15 minutes, so that the ajvar absorbs the oil.
Turn on the heat, and bring the ajvar to a boil, then immediately, lower the heat, and allow to simmer for a couple of hours, to really bring out the sweetness of the peppers.
Squeeze the roasted garlic from its paper, and smoosh it into the ajvar, along with the vinegar, and chilli (if using).
Taste, and season with salt.
Put into a sterile jar, drizzle with a little more oil, and seal.
Once opened, the ajvar should keep in the fridge for several weeks... if, indeed, it's around that long.
Instead of a Ziploc bag, you could put the peppers into a cold dish, and cover with cling film. The point is to create condensation, which helps with loosening the skins.Instead of a food processor, you could use a large pestle and mortar. If you don't have one of those, then use a mixing bowl, and the end of a rolling pin, or the bottom of a mug. If you don't even have that, wait until the veggies have cooled a bit, and smoosh them by squeezing through your (very clean) fingers. (Can you tell that I've had to improvise a lot on my travels?)Do feel free to leave out the chilli if you want a milder ajvar.