Lecso is a staple of our summer table--part stir fry, part ratatouille--and it's best when the veggies are still warm from the garden. But the vegetable component can also be frozen and added to wintertime stews like a sofrito, deepening the flavors of a pörkölt or gulyás.
Lecso is traditionally served over rice, but spatzle or crusty bread work too. Add your favorite protein: spicy Hungarian smoked sausage is traditional, but we've used smoked Polish sausage or chorizo, sautéed boneless chicken chunks, and even curds of scrambled eggs. Lecso also makes a nice side to grilled meats, served hot or cold. Depending on how it's served and the add-ins, lecso is appropriate for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free diets.
Quantities are given per person; multiply as needed. —Windischgirl
Large beefsteak tomato
Large green bell pepper
Hot paprika and caraway seed
Salt and pepper to taste
Favorite protein, cooked
In This Recipe
Cut the tomato and pepper into 1-inch cubes; slice the scallion finely. Have all ingredients prepared and ready to cook.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Heat the scallion, caraway, and paprikas until the scallion just starts to wilt. Add the tomato and pepper, and sauté, stirring constantly, until the peppers brighten and the veggies just start to become tender.
If you're going to eat promptly, stir in your chosen protein, heat through, and serve over hot rice.
If you want to freeze the lecso, continue to cook until the peppers are soft and the tomato has released its juices. Chill, the pack into freezer safe containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. To later add lecso to a dish such as pörkölt, substitute a generous cup of lecso for the tomato and pepper mixture in the recipe.