Ms. Universal 6.29.18

Central PA Live

Ms. Universal 2017, Kristina Marinkovich, makes a tradition Serbian recipe to highlight her heritage and her mission trip to Serbia.

You can also find more of Kristina’s recipes in her “H.E.A.L.T.H.Y. Eats” cookbook. 

All proceeds from her cookbook will go to purchase stationary bikes to be donated to area schools as part of the National “Read and Ride” program.


(Serbian Roasted Red Pepper Relish)


2 red bell peppers

1 small eggplant

1 clove garlic

1Tbsp Olive Oil

1 ½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper


1. Preheat grill (or oven) to medium high heat, roughly 450*F.

2. Pierce the skin of the eggplant all over with a fork. Place eggplant over a cooler section of the grill and let it roast, turning occasionally, until the skin darkens and the eggplant is soft, about 30 minutes.

3. While the eggplant is roasting, place the red peppers over the hottest part of the grill. Rotate the peppers as the skin blackens, until the peppers are soft and you have achieved a nice char on all sides.

4. Place the charred red peppers in a paper bag or in a glass bowl covered with a tea towel to let them stem for 10 minutes.

5. After steaming, the skin on the peppers should have loosened. Remove the stem and core of the peppers and peel off the skin. Place the remaining flesh into the bowl of your food processor.

6. Once the eggplant is soft, remove it from the grill. Let it cool until it is easy to handle. Cut the eggplant in half. Scoop out the flesh and place it in the food processor with the red peppers.

7. Add the raw clove of garlic to the food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined.

8. Taste your ajvar and adjust the salt and pepper as desired.

9. Use your ajvar immediately or keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Use this sauce as an appetizer for bread or as a compliment to cevapi, Serbian grilled sausages.

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