Tunisian Hot Vegetable Dip
This recipe is easily prepared on the grill and can be served as a relish, dip, or spread. As might be expected, it can also be served with a flat, unleavened bread such as pita. Use a mortar and pestle for a traditional method of grinding the grilled vegetables, or just mash and mix with a fork in a bowl. For a much hotter dip, substitute jalapeño chiles.
- Yield: About 2 cups
- Heat Scale: Medium
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut in half, seeds removed
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 small onion, cut in half
- 4 green New Mexico or poblano chiles
- 3 whole cloves garlic
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh preferred
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds or 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped brine-cured black olives
- chopped parsley for garnish
- 1 small loaf French bread
- Place the bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, chiles, and garlic on medium-hot grill, and grill until the skins become charred and blistered.
- The onions will take longer to cook than the rest of the vegetables.
- Remove the vegetables from the grill, place in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth to loosen the skins.
- Remove the skins, but don’t worry—a few charred pieces will add an interesting flavor dimension.
- Mash the vegetables together and place the mixture in a bowl.
- Mix the remaining ingredients, except for the bread, and pour over the vegetables and gently toss.
- Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Serve the dip with the bread and encourage guests to tear the bread into chunks and dip in mixture.