First you start with the classic “Salade Marocaine” – combining the following:
2 tomatoes, diced
1 large red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced, and
Dressing made from 2 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar, and salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
Not only is it a great, cheap, easy, refreshing salad, its colors are both beautiful aaaand the Moroccan national colors (red and green)!
To add a little zest and variation, though, I like to incorporate a few extra ingredients. The best thing about this recipe is that the basic salad (above) is so good on its own that you can just add whichever of the following things happen to be on hand or in season, and it’ll work.
To add to the dressing:
1 T honey
Juice of one lemon, one lime, and one orange
A bunch each of mint and coriander, roughly chopped
One inch of ginger, peeled and grated (ok there’s been some confusion about what an inch of ginger means, which has resulted in some overspiced chutneys here and there. A better way of saying an inch of ginger is to say “a thumb-sized piece of ginger,” which I would say, I suppose, except that when you think about peeling and grating it it becomes mildly less pleasant)
Add to the salad one or two of the following:
Half a melon (like honeydew), diced
Orange or yellow or red bell peppers
Seeds from one pomegranate
1 crisp green apple, diced
Or really any in-season fruit or berry, cut to the same size as the rest of the salad
One of the best parts of Moroccan cooking is its combination of salty and sweet, which you get when you add the honey and a bit of fruit.
Another tip: if the raw onion and pepper are too much for you, try letting them marinate in vinegar for a few minutes before adding them to the mix – this will take a bit of the bite off.