by Salim Ben Mami

Since the summer season continues to provide us with the bounty of fresh vegetables, I am introducing this wonderful Tunisian recipe from North Africa. The success of this salad relies on the freshness of the ingredients used. The main components are tomatoes, peppers, spices, fresh farm eggs and home cured Ahi tuna. It is quite a versatile dish that can be offered as an hors d’oeuvre, appetizer or a salad.


6 medium size tomatoes (preferably not too ripe)
6 green bell peppers or local sweet peppers
One tablespoon fresh minced garlic
One teaspoon harissa
Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
One fourth cup extra virgin olive oil
One tablespoon ground coriander
One tablespoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
One bunch parsley chopped finely
One bunch cilantro chopped finely
I lb Moroccan black sweet olives
4 fresh farm eggs hard boiled & cut in quarters


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tomatoes and peppers on a baking sheet and roast them for 30 to 40 minutes or until they get black on most sides.

Once roasted, place the tomatoes and peppers in plastic bags, and close for 15 minutes or until cool enough to touch. Remove from the bag and remove the skin from both tomatoes and peppers and remove seeds from pepper then transfer them to a bowl. Using two sharp knives cut the tomatoes and peppers by putting the two knives together and cutting in opposite directions.

Add the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, garlic, chopped cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, harissa and mix well together. Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes.

Serve the salad topped with the wedges of eggs and pieces of the home cured Tuna (recipe below). Add the olives and garnish with parsley. Serve this dish as a salad or appetizer with crostini, French baguette, pita or any fresh bread.


I lb fresh wild caught Ahi Tuna
One cup extra virgin olive oil
One tablespoon ground coriander
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

In a deep pan, bring water to a boil. Rub the Tuna with sea salt and select a strainer or colander that fits the top of the pan without touching the water below. Place the tuna in the colander and cover it. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the tuna is fully cooked. Make sure the tuna gets steamed with no direct contact with the water. Let it cool down then marinate in olive oil with the salt, pepper and coriander and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to use, cut away as much of the tuna as you plan to serve and return the remaining piece to oil and refrigerate.