Moroccan potato, pepper and tomato recipe is an easy vegetarian/vegan cooked salad. Usually served warm, you can also serve it as a side dish to grills or fried fish while enriched with meat or seafood, can be a meal in itself as it has it all.
A family recipe
Here is a decades old recipe, if not centuries, coming straight from my family’s “grimoire”. This cooked salad of potatoes, pepper and tomato salad has a funny name in our family: we call it Drapeau sbalioun or Spanish flag.
Grandpa who died when he was 73 around 1997 brought this recipe from Larache, a Northern Moroccan city.
My aunties told me this is how it all started. My grandma used to add courgettes while my dad used to add small okra and sometimes add some proteins in the form of small pink shrimps, meatballs or spicy sausages to serve it as a main dish.
A Moroccan recipe after all
After all these years of searching if there was a similar recipe elsewhere (books, blogs..), I was able to make a link between a recipe from Z.Guinaudeau’s in her “Fes vu par sa cuisine”and my family recipe.
The similarity was striking except for the type of potatoes. The book was written in the 50s. Another famous Moroccan Jewish blogger who passed away in the last couple of years also had a version posted but under a different name.
These findings were comforting considering that I came to think this must have been a family creation until I found it there.
I suggest considering the recipe below as a guideline. The vegetables have different sizes around the world but also some like more potatoes than others.
Also, this is not meant to be a complicated recipe as the cook is just filling the tables with sides to feed the family, they were not trying to make their lives difficult by measuring each bit of ingredient in it. As long as it has potatoes, peppers and tomatoes and it’s reduced and served warm, that’s all what you need to stick to.
Moroccan pepper, potato and tomato salad
- 1 green pepper The pointy version, seeded and chopped or cut in small cubes
- 1 onion any type, finely chopped
- 1 tomato medium-sized tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 potato large and firm variety, peeled and diced 2 cm large.
- Okra a handful (in Morocco they are small so we don't dice them).
- 4 tbsp coriander finely chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp paprika sweet
- ½ tsp cumin ground
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pale courgette small, small dice (if you add courgette, omit okra)
- 1 red pepper pointy variety, seeded and diced small
- Over medium heat, sautée onionsand peppers with chermoula about 3 minutes. Top with 1/4 of water and simmerfor another 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the vegetables and stir. Add enough water to cover the ingredients.Put the lid on and let simmer away, over low heat until everything cooks tendresses and the liquid has reduced.
- If you notice that it has massively reduced halfway through the cooking, top it with a little bit of water so it evaporates near the end of cooking. This cooked salad is not supposed to be a saucy dish when served as a cooked salad or side dish.
- Once cooked. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature. garnished with chopped parsley leaves.
- For a non-vegetarian version, you can add spicy sausages such as merguez, sujuk or chorizo to the mix. My dad used to add meatballs or sausages to make it a wholesome dish.
- You can use whole tiny new potatoes instead of the diced ones as they also cook fast and won’t break.
- You may use char-grilled peppers for this recipe.
- You may add a touch of harissa or cayenne for a kick.