Sunday, 9 September 2012

Olympic Food Challenge - Montenegro - Pljeskavica & Ajvar

Ah... Montenegro. The last of my Olympic Food Challenge countries... and somewhere that I now reckon I'd like to go on holiday one day.

Along with some beautiful scenary and stunning coast lines, Montenegro has done alright on the Olypmpic medal front achieving quite a few (too many for me to count at 10.30pm) despite it attending for the first time in 2008.

Researching dishes from Montenegro left me dazed and confused. I'd heard that the cuisine is heavily influence by Italy, but try as I might, I could not find a truly Italian style dish which was native to Montenegro. and most of the dishes I found were Serbian. Yeah I found a few sites talking about antipasto; a selection of meats and cheeses but that just felt like a bit of a cop out, so I kept on looking.

Eventually I set my sights on lamb cooked in milk, but when the time came to buy the ingredients and start cooking, I realised that I had no interest what-so-ever in cooking the dish, so the research re-commenced.

And that's when I landed on a couple of recipes for pljeskavica and ajvar. Pljeskavica are basically burgers made with THREE different meats (beef, pork and lamb), paprika and onion and ajvar is a a hot and smoky sauce made with roasted peppers, aubergine, chillies and paprika.

It was all pretty easy to make, and although the roasting and peeling of the peppers and aubergines was a tad annoying, it was worth it as the ajvar was absolutely gorgeous and I would like to think that I'd make the effort to make it again. The burgers were also very tasty; I think the three meats helped and I know the paprika certainly did.

The burgers can be served in pittas or on their own with a bit of salad. As I've been out for lunch today, I wanted to keep it light, so I just served the burger with rocket and tomatoes and some of that lovely avjar.

Another one to repeat.


  1. Ajvar is always a long (BUT FUN) process to make... we're now entering Ajvar making season in the region where whole families will cook 80-100kg of peppers and make jars for the winter...

    Alternatively, we sell our award winning Aivar in Waitrose stores and fine food shops across the UK.

  2. Wow! I would not want to peel 100kg of peppers!!