Courgette caviar

Courgette caviar is a popular dish from Russia. It’s a kind of cold entrée made of vegetables with mild sweet taste. If you doubt that you will like it, make a small amount of courgette caviar. I’m not a big fan of courgettes, but this dish is one of my favorites.

Homemade courgette caviar can have 2 different kinds of consistence – traditional puree and when pieces of stewed vegetables remain whole. Both types can be preserved to be consumed in winter. The recipe is very easy, but every person has its own combination and proportion of vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 2,3 kg of young courgettes
  • 500 g of carrots
  • 400 g of onions
  • 200 g of bell pepper (yellow, orange or red), can be replaced with 2 tsp of paprika powder
  • 300 g of tomato paste (it should contain only tomatoes + salt, while only sugar and water are possible add-ons)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100-150 ml of flavorless oil
  • 2 tsp of dill seeds (optional)
  • 1,5 + 1,5 tsp of salt
  • 0,5 tsp of freshly grounded black pepper

Equipment:

  • Food processor (grater or dicing vegetables with a knife will take much longer time, but is also possible)
  • Hand blender with standard shaft with blades, if you want mashed courgette caviar
  • Steel pot or non-stick frying pan with capacity at least 4,5 l.

The bread on the picture is ciabatta. Try to bake it on your own, it’s extremely easy and the crispy crust it will have is so amazing!

Instructions

1. Grate courgettes and put them in a collander or a bowl. Add 1,5 tsp of salt and mix them well. We need to get rid of excess water that they contain. Now grate the rest of vegetables.

Grated courgettes
Grated courgettes resting in plastic collander

2. Pour oil in your pan, add carrots, onions, bell peppers and garlic and start to fry them at medium-high heat (1400 W for induction stove) for 10-15 min, occasionally stirring. Some pieces of vegetables may become slightly golden.

While vegetables are fried, get rid of courgette’s juice: pour it out while pressing courgettes with your hand.

3. Add courgettes to the pan and stir. Reduce heat to medium level (1000 W).

Frying vegetables

4. Add the rest of ingredients, stir, cover and bring to bubbling phase. Stir one more time, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low level (500 W). Stew for 30 min., stirring every 10 min.

While stirring use spatula or a spoon with flat end – you should scratch with it all the bottom of pan every time to prevent lowest layer of vegetables from burning.

5. Reduce the heat to the lowest level (200 W) and stew another 15-20 min., stirring every 7-10 min.

6. Switch off the stove – courgette caviar is ready.

Ready homemade courgette caviar
It will look like this

You can blend it with hand blender to a smooth puree, or eat like this – both versions have slightly different taste. So I would recommend you tasting both kinds and choose the most delicious. I like both, so usually I keep it unblended in a fridge, and if I want pureed courgette caviar I blend only a portion that fits hand blender’s glass.

Note that courgette caviar is served cold, so wait until it cools down.

You may serve courgette caviar with any type of bread. I can offer you the easiest recipe of white bread – Italian ciabatta and the recipe of rye-wheat bread.

If you want to preserve courgette caviar, it should be as hot as possible.

Courgette caviar
Ciabatta topped with courgette caviar
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