Shalada bil Matesha Basila w’l’Hamad m’Rakad

Okay–so you’ve made your preserved lemons, right? If not, look at the last post, and a week from now, you’ll be ready to make this salad.

This delicious, refreshing salad is Moroccan. It’s a great side dish for summer barbecues–it can’t be beat with meat. But if I’m serving it alone, or with something less robust, I’ll substitute a sweet onion for the more pungent red onion.

And just in case you didn’t start your lemons last week, but still want to make this dish, preserved lemons are now being marketed in the U.S. by Moroccan companies, so you may be able to find them online or in a good import shop. However, it won’t be as cheap, or as fun, as making your own–but they will be just as good.

Shalada bil Matesha Basila w’l’Hamad m’Rakad
(Tomato, Onion, and Preserved Lemon Salad)

2 lb. firm, ripe tomatoes (plum tomatoes work well)
1 small red onion
1/2 preserved lemon
5 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Cut the onion in half, then slice the halves as thinly as possible and separate into half rings. Place the tomatoes and onion in a bowl.

Discard the pulp of the preserved lemon and rinse the peel well. Dry with paper towels, then cut into fine strips. Add to the tomatoes and onion rings. Add the chopped parsley and cilantro over the salad, and toss lightly.

Beat the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, spices, salt and pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour over the salad, toss lightly to cover, and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy.

© 2011 Cynthia Clampitt

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