Salata meshwiya literally means roasted salad, and is popular all along the North African coast, particularly in Tunisia. The country’s history with France means there’s a heavy influence of French cuisine in the food, which perhaps explains the meshwiya’s resemblance to the Niçoise salad, which includes eggs and canned tuna.
- 5 yellow bullhorn capsicums (see Note)
- 5 small Lebanese eggplants
- 2 red onions, peeled, halved
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 4 large roma tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
- 425 g can tuna in brine, drained, broken into large pieces
- 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed, drained
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 10 minutes
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place capsicums, eggplants and onions on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 25 minutes, turning halfway, or until softened and capsicums are blackened all over. Transfer capsicums to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand for 10 minutes to allow the skins to soften, then rub off charred skins and slice into thin strips.
Cut eggplant into 1 cm rounds, slice onions and place in a large bowl with capsicums, tomatoes, lemon juice and remaining 60 ml olive oil. Season and toss gently to combine. Spoon over a platter, top with eggs and tuna, and scatter with capers to serve.
• Bullhorn capsicums, available from selected supermarkets and greengrocers, are red or dark green and are 15 cm long with a tapered shape, similar to that of a bull’s horn. Alternatively, use banana chillies.
As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by Peter Georgakopoulos.