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Tomato and Green Pepper Salad, Fez Style

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This is one of our favorite fresh Moroccan salads. The only complicated part is roasting the green peppers first, but it makes all the difference in the taste. Recipe from Paula Wolfert’s Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco.

INGREDIENTS:

3 sweet green peppers
4 large red, ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Pinch of sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 T. olive oil (or salad oil)
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 preserved lemon

PREPARATION:

1. To prepare the peppers, grill them over a gas flame, turning them until the skins are completely blackened, or bake them as follows: preheat oven to 450; wash the peppers, drain dry, and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet; bake for 10 minutes, then turn carefully over and continue to bake 10 minutes more or until the skins are black and blistered. [NOTE from Beth: it’s much faster to grill them on top of the stove].
2. Place blackened peppers in a plastic bag or under a towel and set aside to cool. This enables the skin to separate from the flesh. Remove the peppers when cool, core, seed, and slip off their skins. Scrape off any extra seeds. Cut the pepper flesh into small pieces and set aside.
3. To prepare the tomatoes, bring 2 cups water to a boil; drop in the tomatoes and boil for 15 seconds. Remove the tomatoes and cut out the stem. Peel off their skins, slice each tomato in half crosswise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds. Cut the tomato flesh into small pieces.
4. Mix the tomatoes and peppers in the glass serving dish, then add all the remaining ingredients except the preserved lemon. Mix well to blend the spices with the vegetables. Rinse the preserved lemon under running water and cut away the pulp. Cut the peel into cubes and sprinkle over salad. Serve cool.

NOTE:  Roasted green peppers are also delicious on sandwiches with deli meat and/or cheese and even added into Mexican-type soups or chilis.  Enjoy!

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