Moroccan Tomato Salad is a staple in our diet.
We Moroccans cook tomatoes, sun-dry tomatoes, pickle tomatoes, candy tomatoes, we prepare tomatoes in every way possible. Moroccan Tomato Salad is our answer to Salsa. In Mediterranean climates, tomatoes are spectacular year round, inexpensive and bursting with color and fragrance. Recently, it has become easier (although not cheaper) to get decent tomatoes throughout the year in the United States. This Moroccan Tomato salad includes capers, gherkins, lots of parsley and preserved lemons: like a relish of relishes. It is delightfully fragrant, colorful and refreshing. Growing up we ate it at almost every meal. If you do not have preserved lemons on hand, simply omit them and proceed with the recipe. If you must make this salad ahead of time, make it without the tomatoes (up to two days ahead), then add the tomatoes before serving.
- 6 plum tomatoes, halved, squeezed lightly to extract the juice and seeds, cut in small dice
- 1/2 small red onion, minced
- 1 rib celery, peeled and minced
- 6-8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, stems and leaves, chopped very fine
- 2-3 tablespoons capers, preferably tiny nonpareils
- 2 small gherkins, minced
- 6 pitted green olives, minced
- 2 hot pickled peppers, minced
- ¼ preserved lemon, skin only, rinsed and chopped very fine
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste (watch the salt, you might not need any at all)
Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix. Serve at room temperature. Makes about six servings.
Variation: Tomato Salsa.
Same amounts: tomatoes, onion, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Optional: 4 sprig cilantro, stems removed. Add a good amount of cumin and bottled hot sauce or red pepper flakes.