Ajvar Spread

Ajvar Spread

We first tried the awesomeness known as Ajvar when we were in Ottawa a few months back. We were visiting the Ottawa farmer’s market with our kids when we happened upon a Macedonian festival at a nearby pavilion. One of the vendors passed us a bottle of this delicious dip, stating that he felt we needed to have it. And indeed we did, one bite had us hooked!

We’ve been able to find Ajvar at a few different grocery stores since, but it is generally hit and miss. I was tempted to try my hand at making a batch when our CSA provided us with a bounty of both eggplant and red peppers. The jar we were gifted contained hot chilies, which we love, but feel free to leave the spice out if you aren’t a fan. We love pairing this dip with some Mary’s Gone Crackers or some delicious slices of bread (homemade, care of the Gluten Free Baking Academy). Enjoy!



1 small eggplant, sliced in half
Small drizzle
4 large red peppers, sliced in half
1 small Thai bird chili or ¾ tsp cayenne (optional)
2 cloves
2 Tbsp
½ tsp smoked sea salt (plain also works well)
Fresh basil, cut in chiffonade


Slice eggplant in half and rub cut sides with olive oil. Place on a roasting pan, and roast at 375F for 25 minutes, or until soft.

Cut peppers in half and arrange on a baking sheet covered in parchment, cut side down. Broil for 25 minutes, or until the skin is loose and lightly charred. Transfer the peppers to a paper bag, or a covered bowl and let sit for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins and set aside.

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until desired texture is achieved. I used a blender for this batch, but if chunky texture is your thing a food processor will allow you to achieve a chunkier texture. Serve with thinly sliced (chiffonade) on top.

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