Zaalouk (Eggplant and Tomato Salad)
Zaalouk is a Moroccan cooked salad, similar to baba ghanouj and moutabal, that highlights eggplant in all its glory. Just a few ingredients come together to create a lightly aromatic, herby and melt-in-your mouth dip. There are many ways to prepare zaalouk; what varies is the way in which the eggplant is cooked. It can be steamed, boiled, chargrilled, baked or, as in this recipe, simply cooked on the stovetop with the rest of the ingredients. Zaalouk is commonly served as a starter, however, feel free to enjoy it as a side or as a spread in a tasty sandwich with grilled meat or vegetables.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large eggplants (about 1 ¼ pounds), chopped into 1½-inch chunks
- 4 medium tomatoes (about 1 pound), grated
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon honey (optional)
- ½ lemon, juiced (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium and add the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt and fresh cilantro.
- Mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon and cover the pan. Cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally to make sure that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, about 25 minutes
- Remove the lid and crush the vegetables with the back of the spoon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt, honey and lemon juice, if desired.
- Serve warm or cold, garnished with chopped cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days.