Updated: Nov 13, 2021
This is the BEST cheesy roasted bell pepper spread.
Aneri's note: I have not been to Albania, but this dish is my favorite in the entire World Veg Kitchen series. Yes it's that good! A dear friend of mine has a wild story where she met a one-eyed hunchbacked man at a bar in Albania. I won't repeat the story here, but it had me doubled-over in laughter and definitely peaked my interest in potentially visiting this magical country one day!
Difficulty level (1-10): 7
Fergese is full of bell peppers, feta, onions, garlic, and tomatoes - always a winning combination! Albanians may eat it with or without liver, but of course this version is without! Serve up with some warm bread as a nice appetizer/light dinner. This dish is so delicious you will want to lick your plate - I am not joking! You could omit step 4 and 5 for a vegan version which would be tasty as well.
Bell Peppers - 5, different colors
Onion - 1, diced
Tomatoes - 1.5 chopped (or 2 small)
Butter - 2 TB
Chili flakes - 1 TSP
Feta - 1 and 3/4 cup
All purpose flour - 2 TB
Yogurt - 2 TB, greek or plain
Fresh basil - 2 TB
Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Olive Oil - 1 TB
1. Lay peppers on a greased cookie sheet and broil for 10-15 minutes. Peppers should appear blackened and withered. Cut into strips when cool.
2. Reduce oven heat to 350 bake setting.
3. Sauté the onion with 1 TB of olive oil and the garlic for 5 minutes in a pan. Add the chopped tomatoes and bell peppers and simmer until water is boiled out. Add basil and chili flakes.
4. In another saucepan, melt the butter. Mix the flour and stir. Then add feta cheese and cook on a low heat to melt the cheese without burning. Then add the yogurt and you should have a thick texture.
5. Mix the cheese mixture into the veggies pan. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Transfer the mixture into a 9x9 casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy with some toasted bread!
This recipe was influenced by the Foreign Fork, My Albanian Food, and Art of Cooking.
Want more Albanian recipes? Check out my other recommendations:
Tave Me Presh - Leek casserole by Alvina Katz
Speca me gjize - stuffed bell peppers by Renato Mekolli
Qifqi - rice balls by Chef Mireille