It’s summertime. Not my favorite part of the year, I’m much more of a fall type of girl, however, I can’t deny the availability of fresh produce at the grocery stores at decent prices. I enjoy summer for that reason. Everything is fresh, looks delicious, and tastes so much better than any other time of the year.
Living in New England, I have a lot of friends who grow their own veggies. They have so much of it, that they often don’t know what to do with. That’s where I come in, happily accepting everyone’s overage.
We tried growing our own, however, after many attempts, we found that we just don’t have enough sun in our yard. We have a rather big wooded hill behind our home. We’ve even tried growing beets – apparently with low sun requirements, and they were barely 1 inch in diameter, after sitting 6 months in the soil (rather than the suggested 60 days).
With all the wealth of available zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, etc. I wanted to share a recipe that takes care of the problem of what to do with all the veggies. Please know that there’s no “official” recipe for this. However many of a certain vegetable you have, you can use for it. The same goes for spices, add as much as you need of whatever spice you like.
The dish is called “lecso”. It’s officially a Hungarian dish but the Polish have successfully made (and probably changed it) for generations. All you need is one pot, one cutting board, and one knife. I’m giving you some suggested amounts, but it’s a low stress recipe. Add as much or as little as you want.
- 1 lb of smoked kielbasa, sausage, or wurst
- 2 large onions
- 3 peppers (any color or kind)
- 3 zucchinis or squash
- 1 eggplant (not part of the original recipe but works well here, if you have it)
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- tomato paste – to taste
- salt, pepper, paprika, garlic – to taste
- oil – to get started
The ease of this recipe comes from the fact that you chop and add the ingredients in the order in which they need time to cook, while everything is cooking. All you need is a rough dice chop for all veggies.
Set up a large pot on the stove, with medium heat. Add some oil to the pot and start adding diced kielbasa (or any other smoked sausage). Let it brown and, in the meantime, dice the onions and add them to the pot. As that cooks, start working on the peppers. Dice and add. Then continue with eggplant and zucchinis. Finally add the tomatoes. Let everything cook until tender.
Add tomato paste, salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste. You’re aiming for a bit of zing from the paste and enough flavor from other spices.
This dish is served warm with a nice slice of hearty wheat or rye bread (and butter!). It actually tastes better the next day, when all the flavors got to blend overnight. So it’s a good one to cook for a few days. You can freeze it or can it. If you decide to put it in jars, make it without the meat and just add some browned kielbasa when you’re ready to eat.
I can’t say it enough – it’s a very forgiving recipe. I usually don’t do any measuring at all! Hope you’ll try it out! If so, let me know how it went!!