"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Recipes–Salade Tunisoise

This is a recipe based on a dish I had in Tunis a number of years ago.  It is called Salade Tunisoise instead of Tunisienne because it is a specialty of the city of Tunis, not of the country Tunisia.  I have modified the recipe somewhat. The original, as I remember was made with fresh roasted red peppers and tomatoes. This recipes makes do with canned tomatoes and uncooked red pepper.  This of course cuts preparation time way down.  However, if you have the time and inclination, you can roast the tomatoes and peppers and enjoy the result.

Salade Tunisoise

* 1 can San Marzano tomatoes.  These are imported Italian plum tomatoes.  Cento now has a variety which has almost no salt, which I prefer.  These tomatoes are excellent for their high flavor and consistency.  They break down easily in a sauce or salad, which means that they were picked ripe and mature.  Whole Foods has them.  It says “Certified” on the can, and check for sodium (20mg) on the nutritional label.

* 1/2 lg. red bell pepper

* 1 med. bunch fresh parsley, chopped

* 1 medium bunch fresh basil, chopped (you can substitute for approx. 1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves)

* 1 medium clove garlic, sliced in half

* 1/2 medium red onion, chopped

* 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil\

* 1/2 can solid white albacore tuna

* 12 large black olives (not Kalamata or other salted or cured)

* 2 large eggs, hard boiled, cut into quarters

- Put half the can of tomatoes into a large strainer, and with a potato masher (or similar kitchen instrument) mash most of the juice out of the tomatoes.  Remove the solids and place in a serving bowl.  Repeat the process with the remainder of the can. 

- Chop the onion, red pepper, basil, and parsley and place in the bowl with the tomatoes and mix well

- Put the sliced garlic into the tomato/pepper mix. This will add taste but should be removed when serving

- Add the olive oil and mix again

- Serve on flat plates, smoothing the mixture evenly to cover the plate

- Place a small portion of tuna in the center of each portion, position the eggs and the olives according to your aesthetics.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top.  Grind some black pepper, and serve.

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