Back when butter was considered deathly, I was not going to eat margarine, Country Crock, BremmelnBrown, or any of that. Ajvar was a favorite of mine on homemade bread. Still love it. Ajvar is to bread what salsa is to a tortilla chip. Best buds.
Maybe you folks know some variations of ajvar, or something I’ve never tried nor heard of. I’m willing to give it a rip, if you have some ideas. Fresh homemade bread and butter are heavenly. But there’s more out there, dag nabbit! Still love butter, though.
Thanks for posting that ajvar recipe! I have only had it store-bought from a jar, which was okay though didn’t enjoy it enough to try again. Definitely keeping homemade ajvar in mind for when local eggplant and peppers are around later this summer.
Olive oil and coarse salt are our go-tos on bread here, rather than butter (adore butter though). Sometimes we add a sprinkle of dried chile pepper—Aleppo is my fave— or za’atar.
(John Hartley - a culinary patriot eating & cooking in Northwest England)
At around that time, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol so did review what I was eating (in the end I needed medication). I rarely have butter these days but use a sunflower spread on my sandwiches. Philistine that I probably am, I can’t really detect any difference in flavour.
Right now, I have chicken liver pâté, lemon hummus, tzatziki and tirokefteri in the fridge. I buy babaghanoush and use it as a spread.
I love French Onion dip and artichoke Asiago dip, which I use as spreads on toast, but I only buy them a couple times a year because I can’t stop eating them when they’re on hand.
I’ve bought Ajvar 3 times now. I think it’s something you like a lot, or don’t like too much. I’ve had a bottle sitting in my fridge for 5 months, and should find it a home. I like eggplant in babaghanoush and melitzanasalata, and I like roasted peppers in some dishes, but I don’t enjoy Ajvar much.
I just like ajvar because I grew up with it and love to use all my peppers and eggplants in fall. I’ve made it with hot Hungarian yellow wax peppers, anchos, red bells. Next up, if I get my usual 10lb. batch o’ Hatches, I think I’ll go ajvar with some. Be my special edition ajvar.
To me babaghanoush is a spread. Never made it, but enjoyed every time I’ve had it.
Interesting point with tzatziki. Is that a spread, condiment or both? Love it, though.
I think I’d down that artichoke Asiago in 20 minutes. Danger.
(Keyrock the unfrozen caveman lawyer; your world frightens & confuses me)
Hi Greg thanks for bringing something new (to me). How smoky is the commercially prepared Ajvar? Just wondering since I’ve never had it, and I’ve had some baba ghanoush at a couple of restaurants that was so smoky I didn’t want to eat it. Of course, if I make it myself I can control the smoke level.
As far as spreads go Ima pretty basic bitch - I love cream cheese with herbs, like scallions, or very finely chopped leeks. Riffs on mayo, i.e. mixed with tomato paste, or roasted red peppers, or various herbs, or cayenne/curry… the sky’s the limit. I love butter, but I can’t abide a thick shmear of it on bread.
I like chèvre with herbs & garlic, too… although we’re probably not counting actual cheeses as spreads?
Tzatziki, melitsano & tarama are more like dips to me, though I’ve certainly been known to spread them on pita.
Different kinds of pesto can be nice, tapenade, zhoug, Spanish tomato bread, mushroom tapenade, etc, especially on sammiches.
I’m a huge fan of all different types of jams, jellies and preserves.
I just finished off a jar of sour cherry jam I picked up at a European deli, and I’m currently working through some Sicilian bitter orange marmalade.
I’ve never had ajvar that had any smoke flavor/nose feel. But, I wonder if you couldn’t make ajvar out of the same peppers they use to make paprika. Smoked paprika/smoked ajvar. Why not? Might be on to something. You’ll inevitably have a hint of the flavor of the grill; but, after skin is removed, much less so.
I used to by a kind from Serbia. haven’t seen it in decades, and, like I say, most varieties now are pretty pricey.
You spread it, it’s spread. I remember pureeing veggies for my kids when they were little, making a nice thick soup, veggies integrated. Forgot about for a few minutes and it ended up thick. My daughter spread it on some toast, and that was a household staple for years. I’ve always cleared the veggie drawer and pantry before things grew hair. Water, salt, pick your spices, and boil it soft, boat motor, voila. I deal with some kids with eating disorders, and I call this the perfect food. If you’re going to eat once per day, or once every other, this is a good one. If they’re good with meat fat, I’ll add some bacon fat; if not, olive oil. A little sesame oil is nice, too. I always make them their first batch, so they’ll believe it’s pretty good. Gives them a reason to visit out local Japanese mart. They have these little packets of nori, with spices, that you add to soup, that blows it up. Fish sauce can make a big difference, too.
Breakfast, snack, whatever. I’ve reduced tomato sauce for the purpose of spreading. Bread ya dip in, toast you spread it on. Never had Bovril. Honey is amazing.
Maybe some of you canners would like to share some of your proud creations.
I adore rhubarb jam. Might need a little citrus help; but it turns out nicely.