Lecsó is a Hungarian thick vegetarian ragout (or stew), traditionally made with onions, red and green peppers, tomatoes and sweet paprika powder. Served hot and spicy, usually with bread. Although, Polish variation of the dish, which probably came to Poland from Hungary, is slightly different. Polish version of a Hungarian specialty is much milder and – what’s important – its basic ingredient is courgette (zucchini). Polish leczo resembles French ratatouille more than its Hungarian cousin.
Leczo is a perfect summer lunch dish. Quick to make, and so simple it just can’t go wrong. I grew up in a Polish countryside, where almost everyone has their own vegetable garden. I used to love those summer days, when the courgettes and peppers were ready to pick and use. It was leczo time!
Polish leczo is usually made with sausages (specifically so-called hot dog sausages). But I assure you, it tastes equally delicious in its vegetarian version. If you like stews and have no time to spend in your kitchen – it’s a perfect dish for you. Nothing more healthy and summery than a bowl of leczo ^^
SUMMER VEGETABLE RAGOUT (LECZO)
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1/2 chilli pepper
150-200g button mushrooms
250g tomato passata (homemade or from the tin)
1tsp sweet paprika powder
1tsp dried oregano
freshly ground pepper
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Peel and finely chop garlic. Peel and chop onions into small cubes. Heat up the olive oil (about 2 tbs) in a big, deep frying pan or in a saucepan. Throw the garlic in, fry for few seconds, then add the onions and whole chilli pepper. fry for about 5 minutes, until the onion is golden. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
2. Add cleared of the seeds and chopped into small cubes pepper. You can add some chopped chilli pepper if you want your leczo to be spicy. Add cut in small cubes courgettes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add some more olive oil (about 1tbs), sliced button mushrooms and seasonings (salt, pepper). Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
4. Peel the tomatoes of the skin. To do so, place them in a strainer, strainer in your sink and pour boiling water over the tomatoes. After doing so, the skin will come off easily. When peeled, cut them in cubes and add to the saucepan, together with the juice. If you think the dish needs more tomatoes, you can add some tomatoes from the tin, as well. Add tomato passata, paprika powder, oregano, sugar and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes. If the dish turns out too thick, you can add a bit of water in order to thiner it.
5. Serve with bread on the side or with rice.