This vegetarian cevapcici (or cevapi) is based on the smoky and delicious kebabs that are famous in the Balkans!
I didn’t expect Bosnia and Herzegovina to be a culinary adventure when I visited the area a few months ago. Because its famous foods haven’t quite transcended into the world, like the Greek gyro or the Italian pizza.
But it deserves to. Because the Bosnian cevapi is such a delicious combination of flavors and textures and I couldn’t get enough!
I knew I had to recreate a vegetarian version of it once I got back home to my kitchen, so here we are! Let’s make cevapi.
Ingredients for Cevapi
“Cevapi” derives from the Persian word for kebab. “Cevapcici” can be translated to small kebab. So we’re basically just making a small kebab sandwich! There are a few key components to a good cepavi:
We have a vegan sausage recipe here that works perfectly for making cevapi sandwiches. It uses textured vegetable protein to create a chewy, juicy sausage!
Soft and fluffy lepinja, or Balkan Flatbread, is traditionally used to serve cevapi on. I found this by looking up Eastern European grocery stores in my area (so fun to explore the aisles)! You could substitute it with pita or naan.
Ajvar is a smoky red pepper and eggplant sauce famous in the area. Learn how to make ajvar here!
Similar to clotted cream, this dairy spread tastes like a cross between cream cheese and butter. As with the bread, you can find this in an Eastern Europe grocery store. You could substitute it with cream cheese (or play around with different cheeses, like goats cheese or feta).
Finely diced white onion cut through the heavy flavors of cevapi while providing some crunch!
How to make Cevapi
The actual assembly of the sandwich is easy – it’s getting all the components together that can take some time. But if you’re hungry for a new culinary experience, or trying to recreate the dish you had while traveling, it’s well worth it!
Step 1: Make Sausages
Making your own plant-based sausage may sound difficult, but it really isn’t! Just knead together the tough, roll into logs, and steam until firm! From there you can grill them to get that delicious finish.
Step 2: Assemble
Then simply put it all together! Slice the bread in half through the middle to create a pocket to stuff things into. Spread some ajvar and kajmak onto the inside of the bread, then stuff with vegan sausage and white onions.
Pair this vegetarian cevapcici with a Balkan or Mediterranean inspired side!
- Beet Carpaccio is funky and fresh, perfect for getting veggies in.
- Layered Hummus is a fun finger food to compliment this messy-ish dinner.
- Grilled Halloumi will bring your taste buds to another planet.
- Make Sausage: Make 1 portion of this vegan sausage recipe.
- Assemble: Slice the bread in half through the middle to create a pocket. Spread some ajvar and kajmak onto the inside of the bread, then stuff with vegan sausage and white onions.