Moroccan recipes: Salade Mechouia

This is the national dish of Morocco. If you look at the flag, you will see a red background with a green star in the middle. This dish is made with roasted peppers and tomato to symbolize those colors. Similarly, Italy’s national dish is caprese salad because the basil, mozzarella and tomato remind you of the Italian flag. 

For more recipes and stories, check out my new cookbook “Stories from Morocco: a food and travel memoir” now available through Kindle. 

Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 15 min. 
Ingredients (Serves 4-6):
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley

  • teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 2-3 teaspoon lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Peeling peppers: Roast peppers over open fire (gas stovetop will do) until blacked. Turn with tongs to completely blacken, about 10 minutes. Then, place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat for at least 10 minutes. 

2. Then, peel green peppers with hands or a paper towel to remove all blackened skin. Use a knife to scrape away, avoiding washing it under the sink. Washing it will wash away some of the flavor. Remove the seeds too, then, chop into small pieces. 

3. To skin the tomatoes: Bring a medium pot to boil. Cut a little “X” at the bottom of your tomatoes. When the water comes to a boil, plunge tomatoes for 1 minute, then run under cold water for 1 minute. 
When cool enough to handle, remove tomato skins. Then, cut in quarters, lengthwise and remove seeds. Chop into small pieces, a similar size to the chopped green peppers. 

4. Place peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and parsley in a medium bowl. Then, mix together dressing ingredients right into the bowl. Toss well and check for salt seasoning. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt if needed. 

Serve room temperature or cold. 
To make the pictured “tomato rose”, you need a sharp parring knife. Instead of boiling tomatoes, use a knife to peel the tomato, getting one strip from the tomato and never breaking it. This does take a little skill and patience. Once you have the skin, roll it up like a rose and Instagram that!

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