Matboukha (Moroccan Salsa)

matboukha01

I often serve Matboukha as a salad in the typical Middle Eastern style with pita (or Challah) for dipping. It is a delicious and versatile cooked tomato salad.  I have also used it for Shakshouka, a Middle Eastern dish in which eggs are poached in saucy tomatoes and peppers. Whenever I make something that calls for a tomato sauce, I like to use this one for a unique flavor.

MATBOUKHA
This recipe makes 2 quarts

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, 2 TB
  • Garlic, 4-6 lg. cloves
  • Green pepper, 1 large
  • Tomato paste, 3 oz. (half a small can) – opt.
  • Plum tomatoes, 15 large
  • Cilantro, 1/2 cup chopped, packed
  • Salt, 1.5 tsp.
  • Cumin, 1 TB.
  • Szeged hot paprika, 1.5 tsp.

Directions

  1. Petite dice the tomatoes, and place in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and allow the liquid to be released. This won’t take long. Drain with a colander (you can reserve the liquid that drains and use it as a soup base).
  2. Petite dice the green pepper and set aside.
  3. Finely chop the garlic, and saute it briefly in the extra virgin olive oil. Add the petite diced pepper, continuing to saute until pepper softens.
  4. Add the other seasonings (salt, cumin, hot paprika) and saute briefly.
  5. Add the thoroughly drained tomatoes and turn off the heat.
  6. Add the tomato paste to thicken, up to half of a six oz. can.
  7. Add the finely chopped cilantro.
  8. Serve with bread for “dipping” or use in another dish.

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