Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A special guest post from Jules' Fuel - Serbian Roasted Ayvar Sauce

Taking classes online means that you don't usually get to know your classmates, so I was so excited a few weeks ago to receive an email from Julia who mentioned she had found my site through a link on the Hawthorn University blog, where we are both taking classes.

Julia is the voice behind Jules' Fuel, a healthy living blog that covers everything from natural immunity boosters to tasty recipes (which I have for you today)! Like me, Julia caught the bug for learning more about and sharing with others the importance of eating nutritious, whole foods after adopting a healthy diet for herself. This led us both to go back to school with the hope of learning as much as we can about health and nutrition and then sharing that knowledge with anyone who will listen.

You can learn more about Julia on her About Page.

Julia currently lives in Serbia with her husband, which means she has access to some amazing foods that we just can't get around here. The recipe she has for you today is a Serbian Ayvar Sauce. Ayvar sauce can be used in place of ketchup and doesn't have all the sweeteners and preservatives of store bought ketchup. We may not be able to purchase Ayvar sauce here in New Albany, IN, but luckily Julia has the recipe for us so we can still enjoy this tasty treat.

Take it away, Julia!


My love affair with ayvar began about a month ago.

I happened upon a jar of the stuff while at the local market here in Kragujevac with a friend, where she casually recommended that I buy a jar of this common Serbian condiment.

Reluctantly, I purchased a bottle of the mushy, red sauce in a glass jar from an elderly lady’s stand. I’m all about jumping in head first to new food cultures, you know, so why wouldn’t I try it?

When I got home, I figured I would at least try a spoonful of it prior to making lunch.

Perhaps it would go well with my roasted chicken?

And that’s when it happened.

If anyone had been in the kitchen at the time, they would have witnessed my eyes get round and huge with excitement, and a sly smile creep over my face as I literally Mmmm!’d all over the place.

It’s that good.

It’s award winning good!

In fact, my previous love of organic ketchup has subsided (gasp!), replaced by another red condiment, full of rich flavor, texture, and nourishing goodness that had me at “first taste.”

Confession: While putting the jar away in the fridge, it detrimentally slipped out of my hands and broke (add that to the list of 10 other things I’ve broken this month).

Deep sadness ensued, to the point where I may or may not have tried to salvage it from broken shards of glass.

I may be a bit ashamed about this, but when you try it, you too will be willing to go LENGTHS to eat it (okay, maybe not with broken glass involved).

::Serbian Roasted Ayvar Sauce::
Original post can be found here

*Makes 2 large glass jars

6 red peppers
2 large eggplants (or 3-4 small ones)
2 – 3 cloves of garlic (depending on your garlic preference)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea salt + pepper


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Put washed eggplants and peppers on a baking sheet (or in separate greased glass pans) and roast until their skins blister and start to turnblack (30 – 45ish minutes).

3. Place roasted veggies in a glass dish and cover with a top to let them steam for 10 minutes.

4. Peel off and throw away the blackened skins, and place the de-skinned peppers and eggplants in a large bowl.

5. Add salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, and either chop or blend to desired consistency. I like mine a bit chunky!

6. Transfer to a glass mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Enjoy making this delicatessen and eating it in a variety of ways as:

  • A spread on sandwiches
  • A dip for meats, cheeses, olives, or gluten-free crackers (my fave!)
  • A mediterranean-flavored sauce in spaghetti or rice dishes
  • On a spoon (scoop with a spoon and insert into mouth)

Bon app├ętit!