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Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)

Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)

Featured Spices
2 eggplants, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
5 ½ tablespoons olive oil, separated
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
juice from ½ lemon

Zaalouk is a warm dish made with spiced tomatoes, eggplant and cilantro. Traditionally served as a salad to start off the meal, or as a dipping sauce for scooping onto bread, zaalouk would also be amazing as a sauce to top off your favorite Moroccan meat dish. You can also spoon this tasty sauce over cooked rice or pasta.

And (mixed cuisine alert) because we like to switch things up from time to time, we challenge you try some tasty zaalouk heaped onto your favorite corn chip sometime in lieu of salsa and let us know if your tongue doesn’t perform a little happy dance. We know, right?

Preparing the eggplant

Place oven rack in top position, 6 inches from heating element.

Preheat your oven to broil.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or foil, lightly greased with vegetable oil.

Wash the eggplants and then cut them in half lengthwise. Lay them face down on the baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Broil for 15 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Preparing the tomatoes

Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to boil.

In a bowl, prepare ice water.

Using a sharp knife, score the bottom of each tomato with an X. Using a slotted spoon or ladle, submerge one tomato, bottom side up, in the boiling water for 15 seconds, or until the skin begins to peel back from your incision mark.

Transfer tomato into ice water until cooled, then allow to drain. Repeat process for each tomato.

Using a paring knife, begin peeling back the skin from the scored lines. The skin should slip right off.

Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally. Use your fingers or a spoon to scoop out the seeds over a bowl. Discard the seeds.

Making Zaalouk

Mince the garlic.
Dice the tomatoes.
Roughly chop the eggplant.
Rinse and finely chop the cilantro.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, and then add the paprika and cumin. Continue sautéing until spices and garlic become aromatic (about 10 – 30 seconds more).

Now add the following:
tomatoes
oil (remaining 3 ½ tablespoons)
cayenne pepper
black pepper

Reduce heat to low and cook until the tomatoes have softened into a sauce (about 15 – 20 minutes). Use a wooden spoon to stir and mash the tomatoes while cooking.

Add the eggplant and cilantro. Continue cooking until the eggplant is very tender (about 15 – 20 minutes more). Mash the eggplant while cooking to help soften and loosen the flesh.

Turn off heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Salt to taste and add any additional black pepper desired.
Transfer into a heatproof serving bowl.

Serve as dip for Moroccan flatbread, as a side salad, or as a topping for your favorite pasta or rice dish.

Summary
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Recipe Name
Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)
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