In the summer when the gardens and markets are filled with ripe peppers and tomatoes, Hungarians like to make lecsó, a tasty and healthy green pepper and tomato stew that is easy to prepare. Lecsó comes in many variations and it can be served as a main dish or used as a base for other dishes, like meat stew. In addition, lecsó can be stored in jars and preserved for consumption later in the year, when fresh ingredients are not in season. The recipe below is only one of the many ways that lecsó can be made.
2 lbs of green Hungarian peppers
1 lb of tomatoes
1 large onion
2 slices of smoked bacon
1 teaspoon of paprika
a little oil for cooking
Remove the seeds and membranes and cut the green peppers into slices. Peel and dice the tomatoes. Cut the onion into rings and then cut the rings into halves.
Dice the bacon and fry it in a saucepan. Add the onions. Add the paprika and stir in the tomatoes and the green peppers. When most of the water has evaporated lower the heat, cover and simmer until tender.
Some people like to add smoked sausages or frankfurters to lecsó, while others like to add rice. There are recipes which call for mushroom or zucchini, another delicious way of making the dish. It’s also popular to add one or two eggs just before serving, stirring the lecsó until the eggs are cooked. My favorite is lecsó with eggs served with a slice of fresh, European style white bread.
Bon appétit! (Jó étvágyat!)
If you like vegetables and seasonal cooking check out our post on főzelék, creamed vegetables Hungarian style.