Well, we’re back from our vacation after a pretty intense year so far. Did you also go on vacation? I hope you had a wonderful time. In any way we are back with our batteries charged, planning our next vacation and looking forward to trying out old and new recipes.
Today’s recipe is a continuation of our travel through the very interesting country of Tunisia and complements our road trip through historic Tunisia’s north and its picturesque beaches as well as our recipe of Tunisian Ojja with eggs and merguez.
In our previous articles about Tunisia we already explained that I lived a couple of years in this country, which allowed me to share some good moments with its people and to get to know a little of its customs, history and its cuisine.
Today, I would like to present you two recipes of the Tunisian cuisine that you will find in almost all the restaurants of the country: brick pastry and Tunisian salad.
Brick pastry is basically a crescent-shaped brick leaf filled with potato, egg and parsley and then fried in oil. This is the basic version, although in some areas they include tuna as an ingredient of the filling. It is a recipe with basic ingredients, in general easy to prepare, but it may be difficult to find the right cooking point. Tastes differ, of course, but for me, the perfect cooking point is when the pastry is well browned and crispy but the egg yolk inside is still in its liquid form. A friend of mine always preferred a fully cooked egg, so every time we ordered brick, we would check which egg is more cooked and swapped plates accordingly. In any case, personally, I love brick, but it is a pretty caloric recipe so you should not eat it every day, either.
Our brick pastry will be served with a Tunisian salad. As with many other salads in the Mediterranean area, it is made with produce from the garden such as cucumber, peppers and tomatoes, to which we add some apple. This salad is accompanied by tuna in oil and, do not forget, a little harissa.
So, let’s get down to business!
We will start with our Brick:
Ingredients for two brick:
- brick pastry: 2 circular sheets
You can find brick sheets ready to buy in well-stocked supermarkets, mostly in the department with pizza and other prepared dough, or in special stores with products from the Maghreb. In case of emergency, you can probably use filo dough instead of brick, but it is not exactly the same.
- eggs: 2
- potato: 1 medium-sized
- parsley: to taste
- olive or sunflower oil: for frying
Time for preparation: 15 minutes
Time for cooking: 5 minutes
As I indicated above, this recipe has basic ingredients, but it has its complexity. Above all, we have to be quick in the preparation because once the brick is filled, we have to put it in the pan quickly or it will break as the egg will wet our thin and fragile brick sheet.
Start by boiling the potato with skin and salt. Once cooked, let it cool down, peel it and cut it into small cubes. Finely chop the parsley. Finally, prepare your egg. If you are a pro, cracking the egg will not be a problem for you. If you want to make sure no pieces of egg shell end up in your brick, crack the egg into a bowl first. Then the egg awaits its turn!
Put plenty of oil in a pan and heat it over medium heat. The oil should be very hot, but not smoking.
Start the action!
Take a sheet of brick and leave the other sheets well covered. Be careful as they are very delicate, dry quickly and break easily!
Put your brick sheet on a work plan, somethimes it helps to put a sheet of baking paper under it. Form a nest with the diced potato in the centre of your brick, leaving enough space to hold the egg. Sprinkle with parsley. Crack the egg and gently let it glide into the centre of your nest, using the potato as a barrier, and salt it. Quickly fold the brick leaf delicately to form a crescent and take it straight to the pan. Watch out for hot oil splashes!
When frying the brick, press the edges of the brick well together to seal it, otherwise the egg will escape. When the bottom starts to get a good golden hue, turn it over carefully. Once it is golden all over, take it out and put it directly on absorbent paper or a grill. Ready to eat!
Do you know Tunisian brick pastry? Have you ever used brick pastry? Tell us your favourite recipe for brick pastry!
And now for our super refreshing Tunisian salad:
Ingredients for 2-3 persons:
- cucumber: 1
- tomatoes: 2
- red pepper: 1
- green pepper: 1
- onion: 1 small
- apple: 1
- lemon: the juice of half a lemon
- dried mint: to taste
- tuna in oil: to taste
- harissa: to taste
You can find more information about harissa in our recipe for Tunisian Ojja!
- boiled egg: 1
- olive oil: 5 cl
Time for preparation: 15 minutes
Time for cooking: 10-12 minutes (for boiling the egg)
Cut all the vegetables (cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and onions) and the apple into very small cubes. Depending on the type of cucumber you use, I recommend removing the skin and seeds. Put all the cut vegetables in a big bowl and mix them very well.
Prepare the sauce for the salad: Mix the oil with the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper and some mint. Add this mixture to your vegetables and mix so that it integrates perfectly.
Peel the boiled egg and cut it into quarters.
Presentation of the dish: Put your salad in a bowl and squeeze it well. Put a plate on top of the bowl, turn the whole thing over and remove the bowl carefully to have a beautiful presentation of the salad. Distribute around the salad the egg quarters, the tuna in oil and some harissa. You can also add olives, if you like.
Now you have a delicious and refreshing Tunisian salad ready to accompany your brick. Enjoy it!
Are you the salad-type? Do you know any other refreshing and easy-to-prepare salads like this one?