Salade Cuite (Moroccan Matbucha)

Adapted from Joan Nathan’s 'The Foods of Israel Today'

Everyone remembers the first time they ever ate salade cuite dipped in challah. Was it your first taste memory from your grandmother’s kitchen? Maybe at a Shabbat dinner? A bridal shower?  Kat was first introduced to this recipe by a former partner who is half-Moroccan and half-Ashkenazi, and Kat grew to love it just as much as they did. The first time Kat made salade cuite herself, the smell of the roasted peppers brought her right back to her childhood when her mom would roast peppers over the bbq every fall to preserve for the long Canadian winter. Kat did not grow up Jewish, so this was a special moment for her because it offered her a connection to a Jewish dish that felt deeply meaningful. For Gillian, she first had salade cuite as a teenager at her best friend Ilana’s house as her first introduction to Sephardic cuisine. It was spicy and luxurious and it opened up her eyes (and palate) to all the possibilities of Jewish cooking that she had never been exposed to. Even Sydney, who does not like bell peppers, loves this recipe.

This slow-cooked dip is a recipe originating in Morocco. The recipe is traditionally made for Shabbat dinner because it’s a make-ahead salad that can be served at room temperature. It’s traditionally served alongside a multitude of other salads to start off the meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • One 32-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Argan or extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

directions

Put whole peppers on a baking tray under the broiler for about 20 minutes, turning frequently with tongs, until they are charred on all sides. If you have a gas stove, you can also char the peppers by placing them over the flame and turning them until the skin is black.

Place peppers in a tightly closed plastic or Ziploc bags for 10 minutes to allow skins to loosen.
Peel the charred skin from the peppers, discard the seeds and cut into 1-inch squares.

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the peppers, tomatoes, garlic, sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally and mashing the vegetables with a fork until the liquid begins to evaporate. Continue cooking until the salad has a thick, sauce-like consistency, about an hour.

Drizzle with the argan or olive oil and serve at room temperature.

Yields 4-6 cups
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