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Classic Russian Eggplant & Roasted Red Pepper Spread


  • 3 - 4 eggplants

  • 2 large sweet onions

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes

  • 3 - 4 roasted red peppers

  • 2 cubes of chicken bouillon

  • handful of chopped greens, e.g. basil, cilantro or parsley

  • vegetable oil

  • sugar, salt pepper & garlic to taste

This spread is usually prepared with eggplant. However, when summer squash is plentiful, I often substitute it for the eggplant.


  1. Wash the vegetables. Take off the rough skin (usually on the top and bottom) off the fresh young squash or zucchini.

  2. Grate the veggies. I do so manually, but only because I am too lazy to wash a food processor by hand afterwards. (And also because I usually grate just 3-4 squashes at once, as soon as I harvest them from the garden).

  3. Put the grated squash in the zip-log bag and freeze. Quart sized are usually good to hold 2-3 squashes. This recipe below is good for 1 quart of frozen squash in winter thaw a bag. You will have a lot go liquid in it. Do not throw it away!

  4. Fry 2 large sweet onions, medium cut, on vegetable oil. Fry them until they start to brown lightly, on medium heat

  5. Add to the skillet: squash - liquid and all ,1 can of crushed tomatoes, 3-4 medium roasted red peppers, cut in half. I use “Member’s mark” from SAM’s club.

  6. Add 2 small cubes of Chicken Bouillon - again, SAM’s club, Tone’s brand.

  7. Add lots of finely chopped greens - basil, cilantro or parsley could be added as well.

  8. Lower the heat to very low, mixed all together on the skillet, add more vegetable oil, close the skillet and leave it alone for couple hours. Yes, you have to mix it once in a while, adjust seasoning (I usually add a little bit of sugar, pepper, sometimes salt, maybe thinly cut garlic). Make sure it does not stick to the bottom. You might need to add some liquid - vegetable broth or liquid from the roasted peppers, or more oil will do the trick.

  9. Be patient until the color turns to a nice brownish color. You could leave it a bit chunky or give it a swirl with stick blender. If you cooked too much - you could freeze it in a jar, then thaw in the refrigerator. But this is never the case in our house - the spread is perfect as the appetizer, side dish or on the sandwich. Enjoy!

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