Zacuscă ... a little bit different

( varianta in limba romana... mai jos)

"You neither, nor Zarathustra 
Have money to buy my zacusca."
(said prof. Aurel Manolescu)

Zacuscă (Romanian: [zaˈkuskə]) is a vegetable spread very popular in Romania
The main ingredients are roasted eggplant or cooked beans, roasted red peppers (belonging to a local cultivar called gogoşari) and chopped onion. In North America gogosari equate with pimento peppers and are available in farmers' markets late in the summer. Some add tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots or celery. Other ingredients are also added according to taste, including spices. Traditionally, a family will cook a large quantity of it after the fall harvest and preserve it in sterilized jars.
It can be eaten as a relish or spread, typically on bread. It is said to improve in taste after some months of maturing but must be used within days of opening. Although traditionally prepared at home, it is also commercially available. Some Bulgarian and Middle Eastern brand-names are available in the United States.
The word zacuscă is of Slavic origin (compare Russian: закускаzakuska), which means simply "appetizer" or "snack". The Slavic root of the word (Russianкусkus) indicates "tasty" (Russianвкусно vkusno), "to bite" (Russianкусатьkusat′), or "to snack" (Russian: закусыватьzakusyvat′).

Similar spreads are found in other countries throughout, or bordering, the Balkans.
Ajvar and Pinđur a similar relish from Serbia.
Lutenica, another similar relish from the Balkans
Biber salçası, a Turkish spread made from red peppers alone
Matbucha, a Middle Eastern cooked salad of tomatoes and bell peppers.

What my Master said (you already know him) :
"We can not claim that "zakuski " are Romanian, see better, but we can not ignore the tens of thousands of tons of bell peppers, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, garlic, onions, oil that are annually processed  by millions of Romanian women in jars of vegetable stew.

3 kg of eggplant (the winter is long too!) 
3 kg red peppers 
3 kg tomatoes
2 kg onion 
750 ml oil 
2 chili peppers (or not, as you will) 
5-6 garlic 
pepper, paprika (as you like) 
salt: 1-2 tbs for 3 liters of vegetable stew
Eggplant are baked on stove or in oven, peeled and drained for 2-3 hours.
Bell peppers, chili peppers and onions are carefully chop and then sauted in hot oil.
Add the choped eggplant too.
Tomatoes are cleaned by the hard and green knot, finely chopped and added to saute.
All will sputter in time of one hour, in covered pot on low heat, stirring  in often .
Finally add garlic, salt, pepper, paprika  and leave it to boil for another 1 minute. 
Store it in tightly closed jars."
I used to eat zacusca with mamaliga or boiled potatoes or simply on bread. 
Just respecting its Slavic name, I can assure you that, you'll love this zacusca, in the option I set it up. Try it and you'll say  "You are right, Mala. "

Romanian version:
N-ai nici tu, nici Zarathustra
Bani sa-mi cumpere zacusca.
(zis-a prof.Aurel Manolescu)

Ce zice Maestrul:
"Nu putem avea pretentii ca si "zakuski" sunt romanesti, vezi bine, dar nici nu putem ignora zecile de mii de tone de gogosari, ardei, vinete, ciuperci, usturoi, cepe, untdelemn ce sunt transformate anual de milioane de romance in borcane de zacusca.

3 kg de vinete(ca iarna-i lunga!)
3 kg rosii
3 kg gogosari rosi
2 kg ceapa
750 ml untdelemn
2 ardei iuti (sau fara, cum vreti)
1 capatina de usturoi
piper, boia (cum va place)
sare (si dupa gust dar si ca trebuie)- 1-2 lri la 3 l de zacusca
Vinetele se coc pe plita sau in cuptor, se curata de coaja si se scurg 2-3 ore.
Gogosarii, ardeii si ceapa se grijesc, apoi se toaca si se calesc in ulei incins.
Se pun la calit si vinetele.
Rosiile, se curata de nodul verde si tare, se toaca marunt si se adauga la prajeala.
Totul va bolborosi vreme de o ora, in vas acoperit, pe foc mic, amestecind des, sa nu se prinda.
In sfirsit, se pune usturoi, sare, piper, se mai lasa sa dea in citeva clocote.
Se conserva in borcane bine inchise."
Eu maninc zacusca cu mamaliga sau cu cartofi fierti sau simplu, pe paine. 
Va asigur ca va va placea varianta de zacusca descrisa mai sus si o veti pregati pentru a va rasfata limba si stomacul in lunga iarna ce va sa vina.

Enjoy ! 

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