I traveled to Morocco in June, and it was just as hot as you might imagine. Perhaps that’s why one of my most memorable meals was from our first respite from the heat: a 4-course lunch above the village of Imlil, high atop the Kasbah Du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains. There we enjoyed a fresh tomato salad that was simple, flavorful and cooling all at once–the perfect antidote to hot, tiring days of travel.
Now that I’m back in California, I did my best to recreate the recipe, adding a couple California touches to make it mine. I added jalapeno for heat instead of ground pepper because I think the surprise of biting into a hot pepper adds a nice contrast to the mildness of the dish, without overwhelming the whole effort as cayenne or chili flakes might. And I used organic heirloom tomatoes from our gardens, which we send down to our Ferry Building shop on Fridays when they’re in season.
Enjoy and let us know what you think. – McEvoy Ranch Chef Mark Rohrmeier
Moroccan Tomato Salad
2 large heirloom tomatoes diced
½ small green bell pepper diced
½ small red onion diced
½ jalapeno pepper minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
drizzle of McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chop the heirloom tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and strain the juice in a colander into a small bowl. (The tomato juice can be saved for Bloody Mary’s, gazpacho or used as a braising liquid or flavoring for rice or couscous).
While the tomatoes are straining, chop remaining vegetables and set aside in separate bowls.
Once tomatoes have strained, add them to a clean bowl and mix in the vegetables and cumin. Next, add the vinegars, one teaspoon at a time, tasting after you add each teaspoon to get a nice acidic balance, without overwhelming your palate. Adjust salt to taste and serve in a mound in the center of the plate using a smaller bowl to scoop salad first and then invert onto a larger serving plate or bowl.
Garnish with fresh bread, sliced cucumbers and olives, and finish with a thread of your favorite extra virgin olive oil.
Suggested Pairing: 2015 Rosebud Rosé