If you enjoy cooking and baking, this is the time of year to start firing up the oven again! The warmth and aroma is the perfect compliment to chilly October nights. What to cook though? Consider the recipe below for a roasted pepper spread.

In Poland and eastern Europe, peppers are often made into a delicious garlicky spread called ajvar. If you’ve never tried it, ajvar is is similar to baba ghanoush but with a tangy pepperiness. Its a perfect way to make use of the bountiful sweet peppers that our CSA members have been getting this year! It also keeps well in the fridge and can be frozen if you wish to enjoy it during the winter.

This week your share includes:
Sweet Peppers – Food Field
Eggplant – Fields of Plenty, Iroquois Avenue Farm
Garlic – Food Field, Singing Tree Garden, Occupy Yourself
Chard or Kale – Fields of Plenty, Occupy Yourself
Tomatoes – Occupy Yourself, Iroquois Avenue Farm, Food Field
Beets or Carrots – Fields of Plenty
Scallions – Iroquois Avenue Farm
Herbs – Occupy Yourself, Singing Tree Garden

Red Pepper Spread
45 minutes of preparation
Makes roughly 1 quart of spread

3 ripe sweet peppers
2 small eggplants
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried chili flakes
Lemon juice to taste
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Half and core your peppers. Half your eggplant. Peel garlic. Lay out all veggies on a baking tray. Positioning garlic in the middle will help avoid burning. Drizzle some olive oil over veggies and add a pinch of salt. Bake for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, peppers should be browning at the edges. Eggplant should be browning in its flesh and its skin should be peeling back. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Once cool enough to handle, scrape eggplant into a food processor or blender and discard its skins. Add peppers, garlic, chili flakes, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1Tbsp lemon juice. Blend until a smooth consistency and taste. If you’re not getting a creamy consistency, slowly add more olive oil and blend in. Season with salt, pepper, and extra lemon juice as you’d like.

This spread can be kept for several weeks in the fridge or frozen for use over winter. Try serving with crostini squares as part of a charcuterie platter, or try layering on toast with chevre and fresh herbs!

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