Matbucha Moroccan Tomato Salad

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  • 7 medium tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional step: Place the bell and jalapeno peppers under the broiler or (even better) on a grill over open flame. Roast until the skin begins to change color and blister, flip and roast until the skin is blackened and blistered over all the peppers. Place the peppers into a paper bag, and allow them to sit for about fifteen minutes. The skins are sweated off more completely if you use a double-bagged small lunch bag, and to put no more than two peppers into each double bag. Remove the outermost layer of skin from each pepper.

Optional step: Boil a large pot of water. Turn the heat down to medium, and throw in the tomatoes. After a few minutes, when the skin is cracked and starting to peel on the tomatoes, drain them and submerge them in cold water. Peel the tomatoes.

Put an empty pot on the stove, over medium heat.

Dice the tomatoes, and throw them into the pot. Stir. Crush the garlic, and throw it into the pot. Stir. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and mince it, and throw it into the pot. Stir. Remove the seeds from the bell peppers, dice, and throw into the pot. Stir.

Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring, for about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium low, and cook uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally so that nothing burns or sticks but so that most of the water comes off.

Measure out the oil in a separate bowl. Add the paprika, sugar, salt and black pepper to the oil. Whisk vigorously.

Whisk the oil into your main pot of matbucha. Keep cooking for another 30 minutes, stirring somewhat more frequently.

Put in a covered container, and chill in the fridge overnight.

Serves: Makes just over a pint. Serve with crackers or pita bread.

Preparation time: About 150 minutes, prepared a day in advance