Monday, March 30, 2015


Lecsó is a classic Hungarian dish, officially consisting of a variety of peppers. As a child I visited a fellow Hungarian classmate's home, and was delighted to discover her mother added sliced hot dogs to hers (I was young and foolish then).

Ma's has evolved into a completely different being, more akin to ratatouille, in that hers consists of zucchini, rather than peppers. But we still call it lecsó. It is rather simple to prepare, and plays well with others—fish, meat, pasta, potatoes, etc. It is also ideal for Pesach. 

1 onion, sliced or chopped
4-6 zuchinni, depending on size, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced 
2 shakes red chili flakes 
1/8 t. oregano
1/4 t. basil 
1 T brown sugar
squirt of ketchup
salt (soy sauce for the heathens) and pepper 
shake of dill (optional) 

Begin by sautéing the onion in a little oil. Caramelized is best, of course, so spend a solid three minutes gently coaxing it to a golden shade. 

Then add the garlic (garlic burns easily, so baby it) and red chili flakes.

Then the squash and non-mandatory eggplant. 

Then season with the herbs, ketchup, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir.

Cover and simmer. Zucchini contains a lot of water, which will ooze out. 20 minutes should do it. DO NOT overcook it. Squishy zucchini is not appealing. If less liquid is desired, take the lid off close to the end to evaporate the excess water.

I enjoy mine with a dollop of cottage cheese and/or plain Greek yogurt.  


Mr. Cohen said...

Chaya said...

Letcho is a favorite in my hungarian family as well. We don't do hot dogs in it, but sometimes we put sausage. No ketchup, they didn't use that in the alter heim. we use diced tomatoes. The best peppers for letcho are italian peppers. we eat it most often with eggs scrambled over it: also known as the east meets western omelette.

Princess Lea said...

Mmm . . . I've a hankering now to go more authentic. Do you put paprika in yours?

A fellow Hungarian!