Today we're making a Moroccan pepper salad made with roasted bell peppers, tomato, spices, olive oil and vinegar. This healthy side dish is wonderful served with bread or with any protein.
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The combination of the smokey roasted peppers with the acidity from the tomato and white vinegar creates a super flavorful salad that is anything but boring!
It's the perfect dish to make ahead and enjoy cold with a toasted piece of Moroccan bread or any protein you have planned for your next meal.
This recipe has a pretty simple list of ingredients you may already have in your kitchen! Here's what you'll need:
- red bell peppers
- green bell peppers
- fresh tomatoes, peeled
- olive oil
- minced parsley
- minced garlic
- white vinegar
See recipe card for exact quantities.
Roasting the Peppers
Roasting the peppers is a crucial step in this recipe as it adds a wonderful depth of flavor and makes peeling the peppers a breeze. There are a few different ways to successfully roast your bell peppers.
The traditional way I grew up watching my grandmother and aunts make it requires an open flame or gas stove (pictured below). This method is probably the most difficult and requires the most skill as you're dealing with fire.
While this technique has a special place in my heart, I've found using the broiler is much safer, easier and pretty fool proof.
To roast your peppers in the oven simply place them on a sheet pan and broil for 5 minutes (or until black and charred) on each side until all of the peppers are charred on all sides.
How to Make the Salad
Now that you know how to roast and peel your peppers, the trickiest part of the recipe is done!
From there you can let them cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a plastic bag to sweat. This step makes peeling the peppers a breeze.
Once your peppers are cool and have spent at least 10 minutes in the bag, wipe them with a paper towel to peel. From there you can remove the seeds and stems and chop your peppers into bite sized pieces.
Do the same with your tomatoes and toss the diced veggies into a serving bowl.
Keep reading for a quick tip on how to easily peel tomatoes.
Next, season the vegetables with olive oil, minced parsley, garlic, salt, cumin, and a splash of white vinegar. Mix everything together and you're ready to serve!
There are a few simple variations you can make to add your own flair to this dish. Here are some ideas:
- Spicy - add some jalapeño or serrano peppers to the pan to roast with the bell peppers to add some heat
- Tomato free - don't have the time for the extra step? skip the tomato altogether and lean heavily on the peppers!
- Season with Ras el Hanout - feel like adding some extra flavor? this Ras el Hanout spice blend will bring all of the flavors of Morocco to this salad
What to serve with your salad
As mentioned above, this salad is regularly served with a bunch of other side salads and whatever tajine or entree is on the menu that day.
Here are a few of my favorite Moroccan dishes that pair perfectly with this side salad:
- Moroccan Tomato Salad
- Grilled Lamb Chops
- Moroccan Harira
- Moroccan Carrot Salad
- Mediterranean Meatballs
- Moroccan Fish Stew
One of the best elements of a Moroccan salad is that they are usually served cold, making them perfect for making ahead of time!
I remember my aunt taking time in the mornings to shop for all the fresh produce to make the salads, then prepping them in the early afternoon and chilling them in the fridge before serving late in the evening as an accompaniment to the main dish.
This pepper salad can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days before serving. As with all of the best leftovers, the flavors in this dish will only get better with time!
It wouldn't be fair to share this recipe without sharing my aunt's tip for peeling tomatoes with ease. Score the bottom of the tomato twice (as pictured above) and drop into a pot of boiling water. Quickly remove the tomato and transfer to a bowl of ice water.
Watch that skin peel back with minimal effort and thank me later 🙂