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