I LOVE social media.
But I love social media for a completely different reason to everyone else. If you ever open my Facebook or Instagram feed, you’ll see post after post of incredible food, ridiculously photogenic spreads and recipes from my favorite bloggers.
One way that I continually educate myself is by scouring these posts and picking up new techniques, dishes and tips that I otherwise wouldn’t have stumbled across. I’ve been watching Balkan Lunch Box’s posts a lot, lately, because that’s a cuisine that I am totally unfamiliar with, yet uses ingredients that I use every day.
One post that took my fancy recently was all about Ajvar, a spread/condiment/chutney/relish/ingredient/dip that is a combination of roasted red peppers and eggplants. BLB’s traditional recipe includes a lot of sugar and oil which, while not entirely banned in our kitchen, don’t feature heavily. The other thing you may not know about how I post is that I film what we eat – that is, I don’t cook for the sake of posting. I just don’t have the time in the day to devote to specifically making dishes for the purpose of blogging; I need to be more practical than that.
So, that being said, I love the idea of an eggplant spread like babaghanoush and the sweet flavors of roasted red peppers, so I’ve SALTed this one up and created a healthier, faster and simpler version that I can make for dinner within a half hour.
As a standalone dish, ajvar is awesome as a spread or dip, but as you can see from the video, you can also use it as an ingredient to flavor other dishes. I’ve used it to add sweetness, depth and color to my crunchy chickpea and sage paella. Yummmmm! That recipe is to come!