Ajvar, Patties, and Chickpeas

The weather hasn’t changed much lately. I’m sweating while typing this and it’s not even 10 a.m. Melted brain, anyone? We’re on a fruit, salad, and cereal diet most of the time, but sometimes I get fed up with cold food and I turn on the stove or oven. Yesterday I made Terry’s steamed white seitan (from Viva Vegan) and grilled two cut loaves after they had cooled down. Terry’s seitan recipes are the best! I marinated the seitan in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, liquid smoke, and soy sauce. Before steaming the seitan, I added 2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley to the dough and later grilled it indoors in a pan.

Terry’s seitan and ajvar chickpeas

We served this wich ajvar chickpeas: chickpeas, olive oil, fresh parsley, a couple of tablespoons ajvar. Ajvar is a Serbian red pepper and eggplant relish, which can be bought in almost every supermarket over here. But it can also easily be made at home. For a traditional version, the vegetables are cooked until they fall apart and get all mushy. I skipped that step and just grilled the vegetables. Ajvar can be used as a spread for bread, a dip for grilling, a pasta or pizza sauce, etc…My version is a bit hot and I added onions, which are not part of a traditional ajvar. But I like them in the spread.



3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1/2 medium eggplant
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 dried piri-piri peppers or a small fresh red chili
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper for taste

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place peppers and eggplant on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until the skin of the peppers starts to turn black and the eggplant is soft. Set aside to cool. Tip: If you place the hot peppers in a bowl and cover it with a lid or plate, the skin can be easily removed afterwards.

Fry onion and garlic in one tablespoon olive oil and set aside. Peel the peppers and scoop out eggplant flesh. Purée in a food processor. Combine with remaining ingredients (and remaining oil) and season with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge.

Broccoli Butter Bean Burgers

We use the ajvar as a spread for bread or even for burgers. I made these broccoli butter bean burgers with some leftover broccoli and they came out amazing. I added some ajvar to the burger itself and used some more as a spread. Delicious!

Broccoli Butter Bean Patties (makes 8 patties)

250 g cooked broccoli (9 oz.)
1 14 oz. can butter beans (mature lima beans), drained and rinsed
2-3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons roasted and salted peanuts
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon ajvar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
50 g (1 cup) panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Combine broccoli, butter beans and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add remaining water, if necessary. Add sage, garlic, peanuts, liquid smoke, hot sauce, and ajvar and process again until smooth. Stir in nutritional yeast and panko. Season with salt and pepper. Form 8 patties. To fry them with a minimal amount of oil, spray a non-stick pan with a thin layer of oil and heat the pan. Fry the patties slowly, over medium heat for about 5 minutes on one side. Flip around and fry for 5 more minutes. Repeat with both sides. These patties keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.

If you leave out the panko bread crumbs, this makes a wonderful spread too. You know, if you don’t feel like frying while the heat melts everything.

36 thoughts on “Ajvar, Patties, and Chickpeas

  1. Terry’s seitan recipes really are the best! Reno and I really liked the Red Seitan a lot. I’ll have to try the White Seitan soon.

  2. Thanks, Mihl! They were so much fun to make :)

    All of these dishes look gorgeous! It’s only breakfast time here, but I’d still devour them all.

  3. The weather’s horrid here too! SO muggy it’s disgusting and the rain just isn’t clearing it. Love the look of those burgers, i’m sure i could make GF version. All the food looks awesome, as per usual :)

  4. Wow that seitan looks mouthwatering. I’ve never heard of Ajvar before but I like the sound of it.

  5. I just discovered your website and I am super excited! I am a vegetarian (flirting with veganism) living in Germany and I’m never sure about things I can buy, etc. (My German isn’t the best, although I kind of manage to communicate…) I am looking forward to reading the past posts on your blog for good tips! Thanks for making me smile tonight, even though I’m sweating (as you said, it is hot here!)!

  6. Okay this ALL looks YUM! And my dinner plans are solved for tonight! Mihl–this sauce is on the menu–wow–I love the look of it in the jar! Even better is that I have Viva Vegan cookbook–pulled it out just now in fact (but I had yet to try anything in it)–you gave me the push I needed, girl! Thanks so much and I hear ya about the heat–hang in there–fall will soon be here!

  7. I have never had ajvar before but I bet it’s yummy! I am not much of an eggplant person, but I do like it when it’s used in a spread or dip. Your seitan and chickpeas look so yummy! I wish I had a grill so I could try grilled seitan.

    1. The recipe is perfect for hiding eggplant. You really don’t taste much of it. Do you have a grill pan? That’s what I used. we also don’t ahve a grill.

  8. I completely have to make those butter bean burgers. Never thought to throw broccoli in there. Thanks for sharing! I love how much I learn on your blog.

  9. “Butter bean” sounds so much more evocative than “lima bean.” I definitely want to make butter bean burgers. I love that name! The ajvar sounds great, too.

  10. COOOOL! I love ajvar. We discovered it when we spent a month in Croatia & Bosnia Herzegovina, a few years back. Just now we have two giant jars in the cupboard, which my boyfriend purchased on a whim. I love these idea for putting them to use… Usually we just put it on some bread, but that’s only so nutritious. I’ll definitely try this these butter bean burgers… they look perfect!

  11. Oy! How I regret not making the time to make Terry’s seitan before we hit the road! It looks amazing!

    The ajvar is so vibrant and colorful! It looks so yummy sitting atop that awesome pile of patties! :)

  12. I’m sending cooler weather vibes your way–somehow we lucked out and got a weird cold weather front today, maybe it’ll hop the ocean and hit you too! The avjar looks amazing–I’m going to have to make it with market produce when the eggplants & peppers are in full swing later on and those broccoli burgers look perfect! Love them!

  13. zomg, butter bean burgers?!?! yay! dan and i looooove butter beans – i even found some fresh at the market this past weekend. i believe i squeeeeed out loud in delight right there at the market. ah ha ha! i cannot wait to make your butter bean burgers, Mihl – we make ours often, but we usually use the same ingredients – just peppers, onions, garlic, etc. yours look and sound like one deeeelicious way to change it up! peanuts, broccoli, hot sauce, ajvar – what a grand combination, my friend! we made ajvar a looong time ago, but your version sounds so much more delicious – totally gonna have to make it, too.glad Terry’s white seitan was yummy. i never made seitan and now that i’ve g-f i never thought to, but i bet dan would looooove to enjoy it sometime, i should pick up Viva Vegan super soon. yay!

  14. Your ajvar looks amazing! I’m definitely going to give that a go, and I also love the idea of broccoli as a major component of a burger.

  15. I love Terry’s seitan recipes as well. I like the marinade you used on that one, so light. Perfect for this summer heat. Never heard of Ajvar but looks amazing! I love to try different spreads.

    We are alot about burgers during the summer, I’ll give this one a try sounds mighty tasty.

  16. Ajvar is certainly delicious! However, it is actually a Macedonian concoction. Won’t be long before we are making (and eating) it by the gallon in Skopje…Yum!

  17. wow…that grilled seitan looks amazing! i have never used liquid smoke before, but it sounds like it would be super worked into the seitan.

  18. Wow, I already had set in mind to make Terry’s seitan recipe when I got home for a traditional Mexican dish I have in mind. I can;t wait now that I have seen your picture! Looks fantastic!

  19. I’ve never heard of Avjar before but now I want it! It’s got everything I love in one place and I can imagine a million different delicious uses for it. Those burgers, especially, are gorgeous! A beautiful tower of amazingness. Beautiful photo!

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