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.
This recipe makes 2 quarts
- 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.
- 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).
- Petite dice the green pepper and set aside.
- 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.
- Add the other seasonings (salt, cumin, hot paprika) and saute briefly.
- Add the thoroughly drained tomatoes and turn off the heat.
- Add the tomato paste to thicken, up to half of a six oz. can.
- Add the finely chopped cilantro.
- Serve with bread for “dipping” or use in another dish.