Sunday, December 20, 2009

Moroccan Inspired Salsa

My Moroccan inspired salsa shown above was originally a recipe called Matbucha which is a cooked salad of tomatoes and peppers popular in Arab countries.  They eat it hot or cold as a dressing for rice or potatoes.  Matbucha is popular in Israel too and one site said to use it as a dip with fresh Challah on Friday.  I think most countries have their own special "salsa."

Here in Nipissing village we had it with organic blue corn tortilla chips!  But, it would also be great with any kind of bread, pita wedges and as a fresh accompaniment to grilled fish.  Sort of like a middle eastern Bruschetta.  I must admit I am a bit of a salsa nut.  It is low in fat and sodium and nutritious in many ways.  It is a much better choice than creamy or cheese based dips which are usually high in fat, saturated fat, sodium  and calories.  Corn tortilla chips are naturally wholegrain and you can even buy baked versions if you want to skip more fat calories.

I used my fresh garden tomatoes and roasted red peppers I had frozen.   I posted a recipe earlier on how to make your own roasted red peppers.  I am down to the very end of my fresh garden tomatoes and next year I really need to grow more of them.  At one point they were in every window on the main floor and we ate them as they ripened.  I know many people like to wrap them in newspaper and put them in a box to ripen slowly in the dark but I find the window sill method works well.

INGREDIENTS - they were all homegrown or organic:

5 roasted red peppers
5 tomatoes, ripe (about 8 cm/3 inches)
3 cloves garlic, fresh
1 cup (250 ml) red onion
1/3 cup (75 ml) raisins
1/2 cup (125 ml) cilantro, fresh
2 Tbsp (30 ml) mint, fresh
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil, XV
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin seed
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground cayenne or other hot pepper to taste


Combine everything in your food processor and pulse until you get your desired consistency.  If you don't have fresh tomatoes you can use drained canned tomatoes.

NUTRITION FACTS (per 1/4 cup or 60 ml serving): 30 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein.  %Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and are 15% vitamin A, 25% vitamin C, 2% each calcium and iron.

© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc
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