Hungarian Cuisine: Lecso
Lecso is a traditional Hungarian thick vegetable dish that is also very well-known in Check and Slovak cuisine as well as in Israel. We usually eat a lot of this in summer when there are lots of fresh vegetables available.
Lecso is versatile
Lecso is a cooked mixture of tomatoes, paprika, onions and yellow banana peppers. It can be anything you want it to be. With some sliced Hungarian sausage added, it can be served as an appetizer or stew. Served over rice or dumplings it can be a main course. For breakfast, spoon it over scabbled eggs or make use of it as a sauce for sausage or corn meal mush. According to Wikipedia, it is also possible to serve the warm dish with sour cream or in a pancake, as a filling, but I've never seen that happen. Lecso is an ancient dish and it's quite compatible with a variety of dishes.
serves 4, takes 35 minutes
2 tbs lard or sunflower oil,
2 medium onions,
500g yellow sweet paprika seeded and sliced,
2 large and ripe tomatoes peeled and sliced,
pinch of tarragon,
3 garlic cloves mashed,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tsp Hungarian paprika,
150g smoked kolbász (dried sausage).
Don't use green bell pepper.
Heat lard and add sliced onion, salt, pepper. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add yellow sweet paprika sliced with a pinch of tarragon. Sprinkle half of the Hungarian paprika powder, but do not stir. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add dried sausage, salt, tomatoes, garlic, rest of paprika powder. Cook for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve hot and spiced.
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