A salad as a war - Méchouia

(pentru versiunea in limba romana, vedeti mai jos)

Even if they were here (the Phoenicians and Romans, or  French and  Berbers, or Arabs and Turkish), behind them remained a typical Mediterranean cuisine with a few features. Food not too hot, a few basic ingredients (olive oil, tomatoes, seafood and meat, mainly lamb), few kitchen utensils (just due to their nomadic lifestyle), flavors and color that flood the plate and eyes, without pork that is completely forbidden by Sharia, laws of Islam, a pastry that leaves you with eyes hanging by wonders that caused them ... that's a few about Tunisian cuisine. Maybe it's too little but so complex at that time, with a final product whose simplicity and refinement is striking.
Unlike other North African cuisine, Tunisian food is quite spicy. And  Méchouia salad isn't out of it.


Méchouia salad or salade mechouiya  

  سلاطة مشويّة

....literally "roasted salad", is a Tunisian dish.
An hors d'oeuvre* of grilled: tomatoes, sweet peppers (they can be easy spicy too), onions (and sometimes grilled eggplant too), garlic,  peeled and chopped after cooking, seasoned with salt, pepper, a touch of Tunisian tabil (ground coriander seed mixed with ground caraway** seed) and drizzled with olive oil. Some people(I'm among them) add to this salad some lemon juice or vinegar. It is often accompanied by olives, tuna and hard-boiled eggs.It can also be served as the basis for the making of a casserole***.
I can assure you that, all those who love spicy food will add méchouia to their culinary habit, especially if those grilled peppers are not very spicy.
I made this salad as a strictly vegetarian dish, no meat, eggs or cheese and I left it in the company of a simple garniture' of boiled rice in slightly salted water. I used a fresh-green garlic and, the red onion  I put in this salad gave to it a sweet and excelent taste, everything being on my own taste and desire.
I can not describe the sensations that smoky taste combined with that one, generously gave by those soft vegetables,  produced to my taste buds. I just can say one thing : a war broke out instantly senses. 
And...حرية، نظام، عدالة  !
Hurriya, Nidham, 'Adala for Tunisian cuisine !

Legend:
hors d'oeuvre  - appetizer (which translates to “outside the work”)
** caraway - also known as meridian fennel or Persian cumin
***casserole - a). a dish, usually of earthenware, glass, or cast iron, in which food is both    baked and served; b). food prepared and served in such a dish.


Romanian version:
Ca au fost fenicienii sau romanii, ca au fost francezii sau berberii,ca au fost arabii sau turcii, in urma lor a ramas o bucatarie tipic mediteraneana cu citeva particularitati insa.
Mincare nu foarte iute, citeva ingrediente de baza (ulei de masline, rosii, fructele de mare si carnea, in principal de miel), ustensile de bucatarie putine (tocmai datorita stilului de viata nomad), arome si culoare ce inunda farfuria si privirea, fara carne de porc care e complet interzisa de legile Shariei (legile islamice), o patiserie care te lasa cu privirea agatata de minunile ce le produce...cam asta este bucataria tunisiana. Poate prea putin dar atit de complexa in acelasi timp, cu un produs final a carui simplitate si rafinament frapeaza.
Spre deosebire de alte preparate din Africa de Nord, mincarea tunisiana nu este prea picanta. Si salata Méchouia  nu e in afara acestui aspect.

Salata méchouia sau salata mechouiya  

  سلاطة مشويّة

Un hors d'ouevre* de rosii, ardei dulci (acestia pot fi si usor iuti), ceapa, usturoi, uneori si vinete, toate coapte la gratar, decojite si tocate dupa aceea, amestecate si drese cu sare, piper, un praf ceva mai bunicel de tabil tunisian (seminte de coriandru zdrobit amestecat cu seminte zdrobite de caraway** ) si totul stropit cu ulei de masline.
Unii(si eu ma numar printre ei) adauga la aceasta salata suc de lamaie sau otet. Salata este adesea insotita de masline, ton si oua fierte tari. Poate fi, de asemenea, servita drept baza pentru realizarea unei caserole***.
Cei care iubesc mincarea usor picanta, va asigur ca vor adauga mechouia la obiceiul lor culinar, mai ales daca ardeii folositi, nu sunt foarte picanti. 
Am facut salata asta ca pe un fel de mincare strict vegetarian, fara nici un adaus de carne, oua sau brinza si-am lasat-o in compania unei garnituri simple de orez fiert in apa usor sarata. Am folosit de asemenea, usturoiul verde si ceapa rosie, aducind un excelent gust dulce acestei retete, totul fiind facut dupa gustul si dorinta mea, fara nici o masura sau reteta anume.
Nu pot sa va descriu senzatiile pe care, gustul usor afumat combinat cu cel dat cu darnicie de legumele moi, l-a produs papilelor mele gustative. 
Un singur lucru va pot spune insa: un razboi al simturilor s-a declansat instantaneu.



Legenda
hors d'oeuvre - aperitiv
**caraway - chimen persan( pentru reteta de fata se poate folosi si cel autohton)
***casserole - fel de mincare facut si servit in aceeasi oala

Un singur gind mai am a pune in spatiul asta virtual si alb:  حرية، نظام، عدالة   !
Hurriya, Nidham, 'Adala  pentru bucataria tunisiana !
Enjoy!




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