Flavorful, roasted European salsa with eggplant, tomatoes, red peppers and olive oil (traditional recipe). Perfect as appetizer, side meal and even salad. Veggie-rich, vegan & vegetarian friendly, gluten-free and super delicious. As always kid friendly too. Perfect way to celebrate fall and harvest season.
This recipe is one close to my heart (and stomach) as my grandma used to make it for us all the time in late fall. Of course, she didn’t have to use an oven, but rather her outside grill with no ribs, that my granddad made specifically for roasting veggies.
FUN FACT: One of the most widely spread pepper variety in Europe is the Italian Sweet Pepper (or Cubanelle). They are usually green or red (depending on their ripeness). Bell peppers are usually much more expensive in stores. Both types of peppers have similar taste qualities and are basically interchangeable in recipes. In our household we eat the Italian pepper kind and that is the pepper type my grandma used to grow in her tiny garden.
HOW TO ROAST whole RED PEPPERS (in the oven)
- Wash peppers under cold water, let dry
- Place all peppers on parchment paper without removing seeds and stem
- Bake in preheated oven (200C/400F) until skin looks loose and burned spots appear
- Let steam and take skin off – use as needed or freeze (skinless)
- Choose peppers that are similar in size and shape. That way they get evenly roasted for the same period of time;
- Always let roasted peppers steam well after baking. That way the skin falls off much easier. To do that, take the roasted peppers out the oven and immediately place them in a large cooking pan with lid. Let them sit there for 20 minutes. Then take out and peel the skin off.
- Do not wash peppers under water after taking skin off –otherwise their natural sweetness and nutrients get (slightly) washed away as well.
In addition, check this article (external link) –it has great suggestions as well.
BEST (and easiest) WAY TO ROAST EGGPLANT (in the oven)
- Wash eggplant under cold water.
- Using a fork pierce the skin of eggplant on each side (roughly 101-5 times to cover all sides)
- Place pierced eggplant on baking paper
- Bake in preheated oven (200C/400F) until eggplant becomes soft
- Take out, let cool and peel the skin off as needed.
- Store in air-tight container up to 48h or freeze for future use
Cheeky Roasted Pepper Eggplant Relish (Kiopoolu)
- 1 medium eggplant , roasted
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut in cubes
- 6-8 red (bell) peppers, roasted & skinless
- 2 cloves garlic, or more to taste
- 1 red onion, small
- 3-4 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, optional
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Roast red (bell) peppers and eggplant (see above for directions), then peel skin off and cut roughly in chunks.
- Wash tomatoes under cold water and cut in small cubes. Wash and cut red onion and parsley as well.
- In food processor, add roasted eggplant, red peppers, tomato cubes, chopped onion and parsley and pulse until desired smoothness is reached. Alternatively, chop all vegetables in small cubes using kitchen knife for more chunky texture.
- Transfer to large mixing bowl, then add olive oil, vinegar (optional), salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Serve immediately or preserve in air-tight contained for up to 48 hours (in fridge).