janet @ the taste space

Moroccan Roasted Pepper, Tomato & Apple Salad

In Appetizers, Salads on September 18, 2010 at 6:07 AM

You win some, you lose some. While I have had a few successes with recipes from Arabesque by Claudia Roden, I didn’t feel this lived up to my expectations. I love everything in the salad: sweet apples, roasted red peppers and tomatoes with a dash of Aleppo chili flakes. But together they just didn’t work. Don’t be fooled by the word salad. This is more of a spread or dip, but my apple slices were big enough that I had to eat it with a spoon, rather then spoon it onto pita bread instead. I mean it wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t great.  It was better when served chilled, rather than warm or at room temperature.

And you may be asking why the heck and I posting this recipe if I didn’t like it. Well, consider it adding to the living community of recipe critiques. I love recreating dishes from other food bloggers’, or places like Epicurious where people post reviews, because you can see how the recipe worked for other people. With cookbooks, you can never be too sure what to expect. Good? Bad? Ugly? I love food bloggers who cook through cookbooks and give us the skinny on what really works (like Steph who went through Momofuku – what she liked and disliked). In fact, I may even google the recipe title to find feedback about the recipe before I venture to try it myself. (I even did it with this recipe, it had one positive review). Someone else may search for this recipe in weeks, months or years to come, and they will know what I thought about it, too, and use some of my suggestions on how to improve it. 🙂

This is my submission to Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge featuring apples, to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to My Kitchen, My World, featuring Moroccan dishes this month, and over to Chowhound which has Arabesque as one of their Cookbooks of the Month.

Moroccan Roasted Pepper, Tomato & Apple Salad (Slada Felfa Bil Tamatem Wal Tofah)

3 fleshy red bell peppers
1 large onion, sliced in wedges
3 to 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tomatoes (1 lb), peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
salt and black pepper
2 sweet apples (I used Golden Delicious, but I am thinking something more tart like Granny Smith would work better here)

1. If roasting your own peppers, preheat the oven broiler. Line a small roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the pepper halves in the pan, cut side down, and place in the oven on the shelf closest to the broiler. Broil until the pepper skins are completely black, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap the pepper in the foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and rub off the skins of the peppers. Cut the peppers lengthwise into ribbons and set peppers aside to cool.

2. In a wide pan, fry the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat, stirring often until they are lightly coloured. Add the garlic and stir until it just begins to colour, then add the tomatoes and chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook gently for about 20-30 minutes.

3. Leaving the peel on, core the apples, quarter them, and then halve each quarter (I halved each piece a second time). Stir the red pepper ribbons into the onion mixture, then add the apple slices. Cook gently until the apples are tender, adding a little water if the pan becomes too dry.

Serve cold, drizzled with the remaining olive oil.

Serves 6.

  1. Well, the sure thing is that your pictures are amazingly beautiful!
    I am sure this recipe would be nice with the granny smith apples!

  2. Sorry you didn’t love it! I’ve also posted “less than perfect” results for the same reasons you detail here. And it certainly does LOOK delicious! 😉 Thanks for submitting this to the SOS this month!

  3. Thanks for sharing even though you weren’t enamored with it! I think it gives us more credence as bloggers if we post what we like and what we dislike. After all, it would be impossible to always adore everything you ever made!

  4. Too bad it didn’t “wow” you–it is stunning on the plate. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays though. 😉

  5. The combination sounds wonderful. What about turning into more of a chutney, cutting all the pieces fine and adding raisins or currants? The flavors all sound very delicious, and I applaud you posting a critique! It LOOKS gorgeous, even if it turned out kind of “meh”. 🙂 Thanks for participating, I always look forward to your contributions!!! Kim | http://www.affairsofliving.com

  6. Wow, you covered a lot of groups with this creative dish. It really looks good. And your photo is fabulous. It sounds really good too. Sorry it wasn’t your favorite!! Can’t wait to see where we are “traveling” next month in MKMW.

  7. It certainly looks and sounds like it would all work. The colors are fabulous.

  8. […] I have had a few flops, most of the recipes I try are very good. It helps that I know which ingredients I am more likely […]

  9. […] One of the most exciting things about this challenge (aside from all the spectacular food and discovering new bloggers, of course) is learning about new ingredients, techniques, equipment, and flavor combinations.  For example, have you ever heard of peanut flour? Apparently you can get it at Trader Joe’s and online, and Deanna from The Mommy Bowl used it to make these wonderful-looking Apple Peanut Scones. On a different note, three bloggers created raw incarnations of classic apple desserts: streusel, strudel, and cobbler!  Carla at The Bee’s Knees Kitchen created an absolutely jaw-dropping Raw Apple Studel Cheesecake,  Lisa at Vegan Cookbook Critic created Raw Apple Streusel Bars that look absolutely beautiful and nutritious, and An Opera Singer in the Kitchen’s  Raw Apple Cobbler Parfaits put a new spin on the classic cobbler.  And finally, two recipes called for darling little specialty baking pans – a mini-doughnut pan for A Dash of Compassion’s Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts and small rose-shaped muffin pan for Apple Kugel Roses from My Sweet and Savory.  So cute!  The savory contributions featured some unexpected flavor combinations as well. For example, an Apple Dijon Marinated Tempeh from Vegan Awakening, Gingery Granny Smith Quinoa With Slivered Almonds (featuring mushrooms and other veg) from Wing-It Vegan, Apple Dal from Valerie at City| Life| Eats, and Moroccan Roasted Pepper, Tomato & Apple Salad from The Taste Space. […]

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