|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 121mg||607%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Hungarian lecsó (LEH-choh) is a vegetable stew that combines three of Hungary's favorite ingredients—peppers, tomatoes, and paprika. Hungary's national spice is paprika, so you will see it in their cuisine, especially in stews and goulashes.
Lecsó can be served variously as a vegetable side dish, appetizer, or the main meal itself (see the variations below). Many cooks preserve lecsó by processing it in a hot water bath to be used in the winter months. It's similar to Serbian djuvece, Russian letcho, and French ratatouille.
Hungarian wax peppers, banana peppers, or Italian green peppers (elongated) are preferred, but green bell peppers will work in a pinch.
Enjoy some fresh homemade bread for dipping into this delicious dish.
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons bacon grease, or oil
1 pound peppers, such as Hungarian wax, banana, Italian, or green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
3 large ripe, peeled and chopped tomatoes, or use shortcut below
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large skillet, sauté the onion in bacon fat or oil over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add pepper strips and cook another 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, and paprika, and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mixture resembles chunky tomato sauce.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.
- Shortcut: Use 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans drained diced tomatoes instead of fresh.
- Add 1/4 cup cooked rice to the finished dish and warm through.
- For an appetizer, add 1/4 pound thin-sliced Hungarian Debreceni sausage to the finished dish.
- Toward the end of the cooking time, add 4 beaten eggs and mix in.
- To make this a full meal, add 1 1/2 pounds smoked or fresh Hungarian sausage.
- For a lunch, serve in a bowl topped with a fried egg.
- Add other veggies, such as 1 chopped zucchini, to the dish.
What Recipes Are Similar to Hungarian Lecsó?
- French Ratatouille: This traditional vegetable stew originated as an inexpensive dish in Nice, France. These days, the stew is known and loved around the world and is often considered gourmet fare.
- Serbian Ajvar: This roasted eggplant-sweet-pepper mixture is sometimes referred to as vegetarian caviar. It can be mashed or left chunky, depending on personal taste, and served as a relish or vegetable, or spread on country-style white bread like pogacha as an appetizer. Its smoky flavor is a great match for grilled or roasted meats, especially lamb.
- Basque Piperade: This is a spicy tomato-pepper sauce with many of the same components as lecsó. It can be used as a stewing or braising ingredient or a garnish to a finished dish. A pinch of sugar mellows out the sharp tang and acidity of the tomatoes and peppers.