Back in Morocco; I want to share with you another of the typical salads. Eggplant was a popular ingredient in many of the assorted salads courses we had, and this one was one of the first tried on our travels (see Part 1 of my Moroccan Food-alogue).
I found this delicious and colourful eggplant salad recipe in a book called Flavours of Morocco, by Ghillie Basan. The local name of this salad is called Zaalouk. I have created my version of the recipe and it looks and tastes very close to the one we had above in Meknes.
Spicy Eggplant and Tomato Salad
2 large eggplants
4 canned whole tomatoes
3 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves crushed
1 tsp. harissa
small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. cumin seeds, roasted and ground
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees C. Put the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven about 30 minutes, until soft when pressed with a finger. Cool.
- Chop the tomatoes along with the scooped flesh of the eggplant to a chunky pulp.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and sauté until it begins to change colour, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, eggplant and harissa and cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, until thick and pulpy.
- Add the parsley and cilantro. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Scoop into a serving bowl and serve warm or at room temperature with an extra sprinkle of roasted cumin.