Red Pepper And Tomato Spread Lutenitsa Recipe
Red Pepper And Tomato Spread Lutenitsa Recipe – traditional Bulgarian treat, a type of chutney, made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and carrots and eggplant at times. This tasty spread is popular on the Balkans – Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia (with slight variations and other names on a few other surrounding countries, but this is a completely different story).
Sharing with you today this Bulgarian Red Pepper And Tomato Spread Lutenitsa Recipe, since most of you know, I’m Bulgarian, but now live in the US.
It is unbelievably easy to make and tastes great on crackers, bread or as a dip (side dish) for sausages, meatballs or grilled meats.
If you go to a restaurant in Bulgaria, you can most likely get to try lutenica. You can order it as a side, in a small dipping container.
Here in Chicago, where the Bulgarian population is the biggest in the US, there are a few Bulgarian restaurants and grocery stores, so store bought lutenitsa is widely available. Surprise, but I rarely buy or order it at a restaurant.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t love it, but I prefer homemade Red Pepper And Tomato Spread.
This means that I sometimes have to make it myself.
The taste of freshly made lutenitsa is so much different than the one offered at the store. Here it is important to emphasize that there are variations on ingredients.
Variations of ingredients
The two basic ones are red peppers and tomatoes and I love its taste with just these two.
There are usually more peppers in lutenitsa than tomatoes, but I often make it with equal amounts and it still works well.
Some recipes call for onion, hot peppers, carrots or egg plant. I used to stick to the basic one – roasted red peppers and tomatoes, but I started adding eggplant (roasted and peeled) and some boiled carrots to it and it tastes really good. Roasted or boiled onion is a great addition to the stread.
There also is some salt and sugar added and some vegetable oil. This is it.
What peppers to use in lutenitsa?
I usually use red bell peppers or Piquillo peppers. Peppers called ” Red Kapia” are most often used for lutenitsa in Bulgaria.
Authentic Lutenica Recipe
This is not a Traditional recipe. It is just a variation. This is the way I like it. This is the recipe I use to make lutenitsa indoors here in the US.
Why did I say indoors? Because lutenitsa is often made in huge batches outdoors in the rural areas in Bulgaria. It can then be enjoyed freshly made, but the rest is being canned to preserve for up to 1 year. Back to canning. But my family and I dislike the “smoky”, “charred” taste, so roasting the peppers and tomatoes in the oven is the way to go.
You do need to fill the sterile glass jars with hot lutenitsa and close the sterile lids. Then boil in a canning pot for 15 minutes (count the time after the water starts boiling).
When I shared the recipe for Easy Pickled Vegetables, I promised to share a recipe for lutenitsa.
Also, another delicious recipe from my home country – Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup – Tarator.
Red Pepper And Tomato Spread Lutenitsa Recipe
- 8 lb red peppers
- 8 lb ripe tomatoes
- 80 ml vegetable oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp salt — or more to taste
- 1 large onion
- 4 carrots — boiled
- 1 large eggplant — roasted
Wash peppers and tomatoes.
Grill or roast peppers until charred. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them stand for at least 30 minutes, to cool off and steam.
Peel peppers. Remove stems and seeds.
Boil carrots and onion until softened (for about 20 minutes).
Roast eggplant at 400 F for 45 minutes, then peel.
Blend onion, eggplant and carrots in a food processor.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Make a small cross cut on the bottom of each tomato.
Add tomatoes and boil for 1 minute. Take them out and rinse with cold water.
Peel tomatoes and roughly chop.
Optional - roast tomatoes in the oven at 400 F for 1 hour, then peel.
In a large pot, combine tomatoes, carrots, onion and eggplant, salt, sugar, oil and peppers. Cook over medium low heat for 1 hour, until thick. (to test doneness, when using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot and the lutenitsa shouldn't be moving to the inside).
Remove from heat and let it cool.
Wash 5 8-oz ball jars and rheir lids.
Fill jars with lutenitsa. Close tight.
Keep in the fridge for up to 10 days or sterilize (can) to preserve for longer.
Fill a canning pot with water. Add jars. Boil for 5 minutes, then let them cool. Keep in a cool and dry place for up to 6 months.
I've gotten some comments regarding how unsafe it is to sterilize for 5 minutes.
For best results, please follow the guidelines here.
For best safe results - please keep the sterilized jars with lutenitsa refrigerated.
Nutrition InformationCalories: 138, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 723mg, Potassium: 912mg, Carbohydrates: 21g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 14g, Protein: 4g, Vitamin A: 9236%, Vitamin C: 258%, Calcium: 38%, Iron: 1%
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This chutney sounds lovely! I haven’t tried Bulgarian food before but I’m very intrigued and would love to try some Bulgarian recipes soon! 😀
I’ve never heard of this spread before, but it sounds wonderful! I love the veggies in here. I love that you posted a Bulgarian recipe, Mira! I think I would spread this on just about everything!
Wow! This is very popular in Israel where I live now. It is called Matbucha and can be made in varying levels of HOT. But it is delicious!!
OMG! I love this recipe. I love anything with tomatoes in it so no surprise there. I’ve tried a few Bulgarian dishes and loved them all! 🙂
This red pepper and tomato spread looks so fresh and delicious! I can’t wait to make this!
Thank you for linking up and sharing your delicious recipe with us at #overthemoon. Have a great week!
Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods any time of the year! This tomato appetizer looks mouthwatering!
thank you!!! lipsva mi bylgariq <3
So it’s spaghetti sauce without herbs or meat? It’s so basic. This is not a recipe.
Sorry Rob, if you don’t like it, you don’t need to try it.
It is a pepper based spread and spaghetti sauce is tomato based.Before you call my hard work sharing forcipes from around the world “not a recipe” you can do a research about it.
Of course you are welcome to give your opinion, but this is my blog and in this particular case your comment is not appropriate.
I have lived in Bulgaria for six years, and I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe ( actually wish I’d had it while I didn’t know what to do with my glut of tomatoes, but I will next year!! ) Do you chop or slice the peppers by the way?
Welcome to my blog!
Hope you like the recipe. There are other variations with eggplant and carrots that I might share as well.
I just chop the peppers, but then blend everything to make the spread smooth.
My brother in law is also from Bulgaria and from time to time, when they come to visit us in Brazil, he brings some big jars of lutenitsa! Soooo delicious! I’m gonna try to do it by myself now, with your recipe 🙂
Hi Lucas! Glad to hear this! Hope you like it!
Great recipe! Thanks for sharing ?
Appreciate the recipe as currently in Bulgaria and was curious to know how to make it (as gave eaten a large amount so far)
My daughter lived in Bulgaria and brought home bottles of this. We are in the process of finishing the last jar! 🙁 so I’m wondering about making our own. What kind of red peppers do you use? Just bell peppers? My daughter thought they were different in Bulgaria. Thanks for the recipe and any tips! We love Bulgarian food.
The list of ingredients has the onion and boiled carrots
I don’t see them used in the the actual receipe. Did I miss them somehow?
The recipe was updated with the useof carrots, onion and eggplant.
I had a teaching assistant from Bulgaria in college many years ago and she made this for our class. She said this red pepper spread was to Bulgarians what peanut butter is to Americans- a staple and a comfort food. I’ve always wanted to make it! My question- do you seed the tomatoes for this recipe? I usually remove tomato seeds in cooked dishes and I didn’t see a mention of seeding when you peel. Thanks!
Hi Mira, i am from Bulgaria and this is my favorite recipe. My grandmother usedx to make these. Absolutely delicious.