Marcoude is a Sephardic Jewish dish that hails from North Africa. It is a potato casserole, related to the Spanish tortilla and like many other Jewish dishes, travelled with Jewish cooks when they were expelled from Spain by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. In her book The New Mediterranean Jewish Table Joyce Goldstein includes a recipe from Algeria flavoured with cumin and nutmeg while Claudia Roden in The Book of Jewish Food offers a version flavoured with turmeric and with the addition of eggplant and onions. The dish is very versatile – according to Goldstein, Tunisian cooks sometimes add chicken. We tinkered with flavourings and added red bell pepper for a pop of colour. Marcoude is substantial enough to serve as a main course for vegetarians and is also delicious as a side dish if you are serving mixed company.
- Yellow Potatoes 2 ½ lb, peeled and cubed
- Garlic 4 cloves, peeled
- Onion 1, finely chopped
- Olive Oil 1 Tbs
- Eggs 8 large, slightly beaten
- Green Onions 4, chopped
- Red Bell Pepper 1, finely diced
- Parsley chopped, ¼ cup
- Nutmeg a pinch
- Cumin Powder 1 tsp
- Turmeric ½ tsp
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Cook the potatoes and whole garlic cloves in salted water until soft. Drain and mash.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet and gently sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Don’t let them brown.
- Add the eggs, onions and remaining ingredients to the potatoes and mix to combine. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Scrape the mixture into a greased ovenproof dish and bake at 400˚F for 30-40 minutes, until puffed and golden.
- Serve the marcoude hot or warm.