Matboucha is a warm tomato and bell pepper salad eaten commonly in Israeli and Moroccan cultures. It’s one of my husband’s favorite foods. Typically, in a Moroccan home the first course of a meal has several cooked and raw salads which are followed which a chicken/fish/beef course. My husband’s grandmothers used to make 12 salads for the sabbath meal every week I’ve been told! That’s a lot of vegetables to chop! I typically do four or five vegetable dishes for the sabbath dinner and this is one of the regulars.
8 beefsteak tomatoes
1 c. of water
1 red and 1 green bell pepper
2 red chili peppers
6 cloves of garlic
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsn. cumin
Rinse all the tomatoes and cut and X into each one of them on the bottom. Fill a large pot with water and place of tomatoes in.
Boil the tomatoes about 30 minutes -you should see them peeled start to shrivel up on the tomatoes. Then place them into a bowl with ice to cold shock them. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to touch peel off the skinfrom the bottom where the x is. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil into a pan. Dice both of the bell peppers. Dice half of the onion. Place the peppers and onion into a large pan and cover with one couple water. Allow the water to soften the peppers on medium high heat, partially covered.
Peel the six cloves of garlic, dice the tomatoes and place them all into the pan along with the peppers and onion. Fill up a coffee cup halfway boiling hot water toss the bouillon cube, the salt and pepper with the cumin in to the cup. Break up the cube of bouillon with a fork, stir and blend the spices with the hot water and pour over the vegetables. I use a vegetarian beef bouillon cube but you can use the real thing. Rinse and add the two chili peppers, whole, with the salad. Allow everything to cook on medium heat partially covered. Use a potatoe masher to mash the vegetables down a little as you go.
Stir about every five minutes making sure nothing is burning on the bottom of the pan and then smooth over the mixture with the large spoon to see if there still liquid in the mixture. You’re looking to see that all the liquid evaporates out enjoy left with this sort of soft melange of vegetables and spices. Once all the liquid has evaporated turn the heat off and enjoy with a side of pita bread or challah bread. It’s delicious to make a sandwich with it with hummus or with hard-boiled eggs. I’ll be teaching you how to use it in a pizza in a future post.