Pictures of my Food: Central European Salsa Edition

Leczo was one of the foods that helped me adapt to food in Central Europe. Originally Hungarian (lecsó) it spread to neighboring countries (German: letscho, Czech: lečo). It tends to be different in different places but the version I first got to know was as a sauce sold in jars, one of the few prepared foods in immediate post-communist Poland that was more than just edible but enjoyable. It reminded me a lot of salsa but without the heat (in the region only Hungary goes in for hot spiceyness).


I sometimes had it with pasta or just bread. I remember panicking once as I was having leczo with ‘borowiki‘ and I became alarmed at the borowiki (a word I couldn’t find in my dictionary). The meaty flavor and spongy texture had me imagining some organ I didn’t want to be eating but eventually found out that borowiki are bolete mushrooms.

While in some countries it tends towards being a sauce in Poland it’s also used as a kind of thick vegetable stew. I make my version once every couple of weeks and it tends toward the soupier end of the spectrum. My basic version is potatoes, carrots, onion, paprika and tomato and zucchini but depending on what is at hand might also have champignons, eggplant, celery or other vegetables added. Some people make it with sausage though I don’t (at least not on the first day).

To make it a bit more filling I might poach a couple of eggs in it just before serving or put some hummus in the bottom of the bowl before adding the leczo. This picture is with hummus in the bowl.

While usually my tastes tend, like the needle on a compass, to point to true N (not healthy) this always feels not only healthy but good tasting which is kind of an innovation for me. A bonus is that the leftovers lend themselves to fiddling around with which is good cause I always make way too much for a single (or sometimes two) dinners.

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