I’ve been a little distracted lately by a hankering for the sardines we had in Essaouira, Morocco last year. Grilled, salty, lemony, fishy goodness, they came on a big platter in an outdoor restaurant on a sunny, gorgeous day. You know they just came off the boat that morning.
Oh my. So good. Especially for someone who thought that sardines only came in those little cans; it was a revelation. And I don’t know where to get them here – are sardines like these something you can buy in the U.S? Tell me where, and I’m going.
Since I can’t have the sardines right now, I settled for making myself a Moroccan-ish roasted pepper and tomato salad that really is so tasty that I want to share the recipe. Here’s the finished product:
Moroccan Grilled Pepper and Tomato Salad (Based on the Moroccan Shalada Filfla wa Meteysha)
one pint cherry tomatoes
two yellow or green peppers (or 4 largish Anaheim peppers)
black olives (however many you want)
one teaspoon of cumin
crumbled feta or goat cheese
a couple of teaspoons (or more) of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
Grill the peppers and the tomatoes. (I usually roast the peppers on the grill until they’re charred, put them in a plastic bag to steam for 15 – 20 minutes, and then peel them. I put the cherry tomatoes on a couple of skewers and grill them for 5 or 10 minutes until they’re soft.) Chop the peppers into bit size pieces, and mix with the tomatoes and the black olives. Add the teaspoon of cumin, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper, and top with crumbled feta or goat cheese.
How’s that sound?
By the way, Essaouira is a seaside town well worth a visit. It’s certainly been found by plenty of tourists, but it is charming nonetheless. And the seafood can’t be beat. We stayed at a great (and cheap) hotel called Riad Nakhla. I highly recommend it. The people were helpful and nice, and the breakfasts were great.