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Moroccan Dips

Cooked Salads, Purees and Spreads


In Morocco, the traditional way to eat many main dishes and sides is to scoop bite-size potions with a small piece of bread. The various cooked salads, purees and spreads below are all eaten that way, and therefore work well as dips to offer alongside a spread of finger food and appetizers.

1. Bessara

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
This Moroccan fava bean dish may be thinned to soup consistency, but it's equally popular as a dip. Seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, it's quite similar in flavor to Lebanese hummus. It should be served warm.

2. Spinach Salad with Preserved Lemon and Olives

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and Moroccan spices give this dip-like cooked salad its much-loved flavor. Even people who claim not to like spinach tend to enjoy this dish! In the spring, the same preparation is used to cook khoubiza, common mallow leaves.

3. Tomato Jam

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
This roasted tomato salad is cooked to jam-like consistency before it's sweetened by the additions of honey, cinnamon and orange flower water. Serve it as a dip, side or condiment.

4. Serrouda - Chickpea Puree

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Dried chickpeas are soaked, peeled and then cooked until tender with onion, saffron, salt and pepper. The beans are then pureed and served as a dip. Olive oil, melted butter and cayenne can be added as garnish.

5. Taktouka

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Roasted peppers and ripe tomatoes are sauteed with Moroccan spices, garlic and herbs to make this zesty, popular cooked salad. Mash it into dip-like consistency and serve it with a crusty bread such as Moroccan Wheat Bread.

6. Zaalouk

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Zaalouk is a delicious cooked salad made with eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and spices. It's a common side dish to many meals, and is usually served as a dip with crusty bread. Also try Zaalouk with Roasted Peppers and Roasted Eggplant.

7. Zaalouk of Cauliflower

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Zaalouk of Cauliflower is prepared by mashing cooked cauliflower and sauteing it with tomatoes, olive oil and spices. Fresh lemon or preserved lemon adds tangy flavor.

8. Zucchini and Tomato Salad

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Delicious served warm or cold, this dip-like salad is prepared by simmering zucchini and tomatoes with Moroccan spices, garlic and olive oil. Delicious when scooped up with a traditional Moroccan bread such as Semolina Bread. Also try the similar Zucchini Salad which is cooked without tomatoes.

9. Kahrmus

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Eggplant is reduced to a puree and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and Moroccan herbs and spices. Tangy and zesty, it makes a delicious dip.

10. Goat Cheese Dip

Photo © Nisrine Merzouki, Licensed to About.com
Cookbook author Nisrine Merzouki shares her recipe for goat cheese spread. Almonds, honey and orange flower water add classic Moroccan flavor.

11. Moroccan Olive Tapenade

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Either green or black olives can be used to make this easy tapenade. Make it as fiery as you like with the addition of harissa.
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