Sandwich Cevapi with Ajvar and Kajmak

Cevapi, a mutton and lamb sausage from the Balkans, is among the main ingredients of Joe Flamm’s dinner restaurant menu, Rose Mary in Chicago. He grills the cevapi, served with Ajvar, a sour sauce made of roasted peppers, garlic, and eggplant. A generous amount of kajmak, which is a Serbian or Croatian natural cheese, provides a touch of tanginess to offset the meaty flavor. Flamm mimics the taste by blending cream cheese with Feta, lemon juice, and herbs. Enjoy these with a grilled pita.

The notes of Food & Wine Test Kitchen Food & Wine Test Kitchen

We enjoyed the aroma of smoke from the grill and the smoked masala within the cevapi. The ajvar was tasty. It was smooth and smooth, with a delicious richness from the olive oil and an enjoyable hint of spice from the cayenne pepper and the broken red pepper.



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 1/4 ounces)
  • Three tablespoons chopped garlic (from 8 large cloves; about 3/4 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt


  • Three small red bell peppers (about 1 pound)
  • One small (12-ounce) eggplant
  • 16 garlic cloves, peeled (about 1 1/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup plus one teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste


  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 1 (8-ounce) container of sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) container of cream cheese at room temperature
  • One tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives (about 3/8 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Pita rounds for serving



Prepare the Cevapi

  1. With a mixer equipped with a paddle, mix lamb, beef, onions, garlic, sweet paprika pepper, smoked paprika, baking soda, and salt at a low speed until it becomes sticky, around 1 minute. Be careful not to mix too much.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees with an oven rack in the middle position. Cover a large baking pan with parchment. Scoop the meat mixture into balls, approximately two heaping tablespoons (2 2 ounces) each. Then roll them into links. The recipe makes 18 cevapi. Set on the baking sheet in one layer. Cover and refrigerate for up to 30 minutes at a minimum and up to an hour.

In the meantime, you can prepare the Ajvar.

  1. A second baking tray with aluminum foil. Put garlic cloves onto a piece made of foil. Drizzle with one teaspoon of oil, then wrap in an encapsulated packet. Place bell peppers, garlic, and eggplant on the sheet. Roast in the oven preheated and remove garlic once it’s soft and golden about 15 to 20 minutes. Continue roasting eggplant, peppers, and eggplant, occasionally turning until the skins are blackened and the interiors are soft for around 30 minutes. Alternately, roast the peppers and eggplant on hot coals until they are blackened and soft.
  2. Transfer the peppers and eggplants into large bowls that are heatproof and wrapped in plastic. Leave at room temperature until it is cool enough for handling, approximately 15 minutes. Use your hands and a paper towel to peel peppers and remove the seeds and stems. Place the peppers in a bowl or food processor. Peel the eggplant, remove the skin, and check; add the eggplant and peppers to the bowl.
  3. Add the garlic that has been roasted, crushed black pepper, cayenne vinegar, and half a cup of olive oil into the bowl, along with eggplant and peppers. Mix until the mixture is shiny and red, approximately 45 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer the mixture to a bowl of medium size; the recipe yields about 2 cups of Ajvar. Refrigerate and cover until you are ready to use.

Prepare the Kajmak

  1. Put Feta, sour cream, cream cheese, and lemon juice into the food processor’s bowl. Process until smooth, around 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl of medium size and stir in parsley, chives, and tarragon until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. The recipe produces 2 cups. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Cook the Cevapi

  1. Grill up to medium-high (400degF up to 450degF). Place cevapi onto oiled grates and cook, flipping it once until it is cooked. An electronic thermometer in the most significant portion registers 165degF for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Transfer the cevapi onto a large plate and serve it with pitas, Ajvar, and Kajmak.


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