Matbucha

By • August 23, 2017 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This North African vegetable relish cooks tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants together to make a jammy, flavorful spread that is perfect served on top of roasted chicken, fish, meat, or veggies. It tastes equally great served as part of a mezze selection, alongside grilled pita for dipping. Leah Koenig

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Serves 8

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups peeled, 1/2-inch eggplant cubes
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the red onion, eggplant, red bell peppers, jalapeño, sugar, and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, onion powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a generous amount of black pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer; reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered and stirring often, until mixture thickens and the vegetables grow very tender and the mixture thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. A few times during the cooking process, mash the vegetables a bit with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if desired. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.

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