moroccan cooked olive salad

Shabbat dinner at my mom’s is like Thanks Giving at Martha Stewart. The dining table is packed with enough food to feed a village.
My mom is actually Martha but without her luck. Her home-cooking and entertainment skills are exquisite.
Unlike most Moroccans my mom spices her dishes lightly and uses lots of herbs instead. Even her Moroccan dishes are delicate and fragrant, and looks esthetic.


It’s fascinating to watch her cook. Her stove and counter are always spotless, even when she cooks. My kitchen some how looks like a war zone when I cook and when I don’t.  

There is nothing more comforting then Friday’s lunch sandwich, which is Lechem Bait (home bread) stuffed with one or two Moroccan cooked salads such as Matbucha, babaganush or olives and some braised chicken or meatball with some sort of a vegetable. 
One of my favorites cooked salads is the cooked olive salad, which is Syrian olives (first boiled three times in water to get rid of their bitterness) cooked with tomatoes, cilantro and spices.

Lechem Bait (Homemade bread)  

The easiest way to remove the pits is to crack them with a mag or rolling pin (see pic above). Bitter Syrian olives work the best because they are hard and don’t fall apart when you cook them. 

Cooked Olive Salad

Cooked Olive Salad

This salad a mezze / tapas but also delicious in a sandwich.


  • 1 can Syrian cracked olives or green pitted olives
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • Handful cilantro, rinsed carefully and chopped roughly
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • dash of white pepper
  • salt


  1. Pit the olives (if the olives are not already cracked, crush them with a rolling pin and remove the pits - this is the only effortful part.
  2. If you are using Syrian or any bitter olives you need to boil them at least twice in water for 2 -3 minutes, to get rid of the bitterness.
  3. While you boil the olives put the rest of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Drain the olives and add them to the saucepan, give them a quick stir and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely before you serve or store it in the fridge. They are better after they are cold and set in the sauce for a few hours.


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  • Reply Liraz January 16, 2013 at 22:48

    Well written.great pictures.

  • Reply marxmus January 17, 2013 at 00:43

    Everything look so great,,, it’s to dangerous to see it before breakfast.

    • Reply Shelly January 17, 2013 at 15:48

      Thank you for your kind words:)

  • Reply הילה January 17, 2013 at 19:57

    הו,ברוכה השבה.. חיכנו לפוסטים חדשים! תבורך אמך 🙂

    • Reply Shelly January 28, 2013 at 17:24

      בהחלט תבורך אימי, איזה ידיים יש לה. תודה הילה!

  • Reply Marcey January 20, 2013 at 03:39

    I love the way you express your love for your mother and the culture she imparted to you

    • Reply Shelly January 28, 2013 at 17:22

      Thank you! She is an incredible cook and so do you. The first time I made ice cream from scratch was with you!And you introduced me to kale and other leafy greens. I would love to post your minestrone soup if you don’t mind sharing the recipe.

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