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Friday, December 1, 2023

Taktouka – Green Pepper and Tomato Salad

The first time I ate this salad was at a restaurant in Essaouira that neither MarocBaba nor I could afford and the food was not that great Moroccan food. Suffice to say I didn’t like it. However, there aren’t a lot of green pepper recipes I do like!

Typically a meal is started with several small plates of Moroccan salads, a mezze of salads for those familiar with Middle Eastern tables.

Taktouka is a very popular and traditional salad that often can be seen accompanying a main dish of chicken. I am sure that there are salads that go with specific meat dishes, I have not spent enough time analyzing the specifics of this although it is something I’d love to do.

These salads always eluded me at first. Mostly because they were served cool, and for several, they just didn’t seem like they would be all that good cold. I must admit I still think that for many of them, they would be better served warm but maybe that’s just personal preference.

So if your summer garden has you asking “what can I make with green peppers and tomatoes”? I’ve got the recipe for you!

Ingredients for Moroccan Taktouka.jpg
Taktouka – Green Pepper and Tomato Salad 1
Moroccan Taktouka


Moroccan Taktouka

prep time: 20 MINUTES
cook time: 20 MINUTES
total time: 40 MINUTES

This tomato and roasted green pepper-cooked salad are easy to make and are a good accompaniment to a variety of tajines. This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.

  • 4 tomatoes – skins removed and chopped up
  • 2 large green peppers (roasted – will describe in directions)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

To Roast Green Peppers:

Traditionally these are roasted over an open gas flame until the outside is completely black. My mother-in-law then tosses them into a plastic bag that is sealed until the steam inside loosens the skins and can easily be pulled away from the flesh. On gas stoves in the US, this works great. and this is how I generally roast these peppers. You could also do them under the broiler of an oven on a cookie sheet but make sure to watch carefully and turn them often so that they do not catch on fire.

Peeled Tomatoes for Taktouka.jpg

To Remove Tomato Skin: 

If you are good at peeling these with a paring knife go ahead, unfortunately, I am not so good. Instead, place a pot of water on high until boiling and score each tomato with an X. Once water is boiling put the tomatoes in and cook for 2-3 minutes. The skins will become loose and peel right off. You do not have to peel the tomatoes if you don’t want for this recipe.

Once the skin of the vegetables is removed, chop both the tomatoes and peppers into small pieces.

Green Peppers in Taktouka.jpg

In a large pan pour 2/3 of the olive oil and bring to medium heat.

Saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes and then add the green peppers and tomatoes.

Moroccan Taktouka Spices.jpg

Add the spices to the tomatoes and peppers.

Continue to cook on medium-high stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are very soft and can easily be mashed. This may take less time depending on whether or not the tomatoes were soft from removing the skins.

Mash the tomatoes with a fork or spoon and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced.

If it becomes too dry add the leftover oil.

Once it has reached a consistency you like remove it from heat.

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