When you say the word salad what comes to mind? Chances are it’s not the same thing you’ll get when you ask for a Moroccan salad. These vegetable heavy dishes are an important part of the Moroccan diet and there are dozens of different varieties.
What is a Moroccan salad?
Typically a “salad” is thought to be raw vegetables however in Morocco nearly all salads are cooked. You might think when looking at them that they resemble dips or pulses. In fact they do!
But for simplicity sake when I’m referring to a Moroccan salad I’m referring to these cooked creations. Food in Morocco is seasonal and so some salads only appear at specific times of the year.
While it’s not wrong to eat salads as “the meal” they are traditionally served alongside the main dish.
How are Moroccan salads served?
The number of salads served depends on a few things;
- what is the main dish?
- what is the occasion?
- what is the financial situation of the family?
Normally there are between 1 and 3 salads served with the main dish. The salads are served on small dishes that are spread around the table or you may also see one large plate that has multiple salads arranged around it.
Most salads are eaten by scooping them up with bread, however you can eat them with a fork.
Why aren’t Moroccan salads raw?
This is a great question…and I have no answer only my best guesses!
Know that I have zero proof to back up anything I’m basing this off of my observations. Moroccans rarely eat any food that isn’t cooked, and cooked through extremely well. My guess is that this is in part to kill bacteria that may be lurking and prevent illness.
I also think that cooked salads may have come into existence as preservation methods like refrigeration weren’t available. Food wasn’t always eaten immediately but still they didn’t want to waste it. Cooking vegetables allows for items that have gone a bit soft or have parts that have spoiled can still be used.
Simple Moroccan Salad Recipes
Nearly every main dish is Morocco is served along side several salads. These are more often than not cooked salads made with seasonal fruits.
This "salad" is often served as dessert but it's still called an orange and cinnamon salad!
I discovered this recipe pairing oranges with olives in a cookbook of Moroccan Jewish recipes. Paired with an argan oil dressing makes it a little extra special.
An easy to make, cooked Moroccan eggplant salad. You'll want to eat this with everything.
This tomato and roasted green pepper cooked salad is easy to make and is a good accompaniment to a variety of tajines. It's also vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.
Why not mix carbs with carbs? You'll regularly find this served cold or with tuna mixed in. The seasonings can be adjusted for your tastes.
There's nothing much simpler than a tomato and onion salad. It's a great side dish for many Moroccan dishes; especially fish and seafood.
Is it a salad is it a jam? You decide! The tomatoes in this dish are cooked down and sweetened making it work either way.
A very easy version of traditional loubia salad. I make mine using canned beans to cut way down on cooking time.
This is a very simple and unique cooked Moroccan salad. It's a great way to use summer produce and add something special to the table.
This is a very simple Moroccan carrot salad often served with several other salads before the main meal.
With just a few ingredients the flavor in this dish comes from the cooking process, the roasting is a must!
This isn't a traditional Moroccan salad but it is a fresh salad that has Moroccan flavors.
Beets are so good for you and when served the Moroccan way you just might fall in love!
A sweet and savory salad that is perfect for fall and winter.