Tomato Time!! Thousands and thousands of tomatoes!
Not in MY garden this year. I was away too long this summer and the garden suffered for it. Thankfully, I have friends who grow unbelievable produce so today’s recipe is brought to you by their tomatoes and peppers.
I grew up in a half Hungarian household and one of the many fringe benefits of that was the wonderful, bold foods that we enjoyed. My Dad is a great cook and my Mom learned to cook the traditional foods and has become an expert at it too; we didn’t just have our ethic feed bag on during holidays either – it was a staple at our house and I am glad for it.
Lecso (pronounced letch-o) is a robust sweet pepper and tomato stew that is slow simmered and served with or without sausage and usually over some kind of carb. I use sprouted brown rice, but we also have it over potato or pasta.
It is SO easy, it is not even funny. And it is clean – (one of the FEW Hungarian dishes that I didn’t have to alter…)
You can use store-bought peppers, but if you can get them, you want Sweet Hungarian Peppers.
This is what you need:
15-20 sweet wax peppers OR 10 large red/green/orange bell peppers
15 large ripe tomatoes ( I used Roma for the stew in the picture)
2 T Hungarian paprika (my parents don’t add paprika, but if you use bell peppers add the paprika)
2 T coarse sea salt
2 medium onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
1. Saute the onions in the olive oil until just transparent.
2. While the onions are cooking, prepare the peppers by cutting them in half lengthwise, coring/seeding them and removing the inner membrane. Cut them into half rings or strips. Prepare the tomatoes by cutting out the stem and chopping into small chunks leaving in the seeds. You could use canned tomatoes, but if you have them – use fresh.
3. When onions are ready, remove from heat and add paprika. If you do this on the heat it will scorch and change the taste. Add peppers, tomatoes and stir, then return to heat. (Also add cooked sausage ring at this point if you care too)
4. Simmer until the stew is fragrant and thick. Season with salt to your taste.
5. Serve over carb of choice.
This recipe also freezes VERY well.
élvez! ( Enjoy in Hungarian)