Mechouia salad (also known as slata mechouia in Tunisian Arabic) is a simple grilled vegetable salad that ticks every box for Mediterranean food. As with so many of these classic regional dishes, recipes vary from village to village and family to family. Mechouia has a base of char-grilled tomatoes, onions, peppers, chillis and garlic, which are coarsely chopped and seasoned before being dressed with olive oil. Traditionally the salad is often then topped with fresh herbs, olives, hard-boiled eggs or tuna. This is an amazing summer dish, and whilst it can be made in the kitchen it really comes into its own if you char grill your vegetables over the coals of your barbecue. It makes a great side (pictured below served with pork tenderloin that was offset grilled over the coals and then seasoned with smoked paprika and fennel from our Better Barbecuing course) or can be enjoyed as a stand-alone meal with crusty bread.
- 4 Medium Tomatoes
- 2 Red Peppers
- 2 Large Jalapeno Peppers
- 2 Small Onions, the outer paper leaves removed
- 1 Teaspoon Caraway Seeds
- ½ Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon red wine Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Using either a grill or BBQ fire, char the outsides of the tomato, peppers, and onions until they’re completely blackened and blistered, turning frequently to char all sides. You can put the onions directly into the coals of the fire. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to allow them to steam in their own heat for 15 minutes.
- Peel the char off of the vegetables, coarsely chop them and place them in a bowl.
- Toast the caraway and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes until they become fragrant. Grind them into a powder in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
- Add the spices with the olive oil and vinegar to the chopped vegetables and stir well. Salt and pepper to taste.