Zaalouk is a delicious cooked salad made with eggplant (aubergines), 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.
Use fresh, ripe tomatoes for the best results. If you like, drizzle a little extra olive oil on the salad when serving.
Variations: A small wedge of fresh lemon added to the salad while it's reducing adds a nice tangy nuance. A little chili oil heats it up for spicy food lovers.
Some Moroccan cooks boil the eggplant first. I prefer the taste and texture of the methods below. Or, you can try Zaalouk with Roasted Peppers and Roasted Eggplant.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped*
- 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro and parsley, mixed
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
- small wedge of lemon (optional)
*Rather than peeling and chopping the eggplant, you might prefer to roast it. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and place it skin-side-up under a broiler. Leave it to roast for about 15 minutes, or until the skin is scorched and and the eggplant is very tender. Scoop out the roasted eggplant from the skin, puree it with a vegetable masher, and proceed with the recipe.
To Make the Zaalouk:
Mix all ingredients in a large, deep skillet or pot. Cover and simmer over medium to medium-high heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat if necessary to avoid burning the zaalouk.
Use a spoon or potato masher to crush and blend the tomatoes and eggplant. If you like, a small wedge of lemon can be added to the pan at this time. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquids are reduced and the zaalouk can be stirred into a heap in the center of the pan.
Serve warm or cold with crusty bread.