Today we are making one of my favorite vegan dishes, Zaalouk. This Moroccan eggplant dip is made with fresh eggplant, tomato, spices, and olive oil. It's fabulous served as a salad, in a tagine, or as a dip with bread.
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Here's what you need to make this dip:
See recipe card for quantities.
Prepping the Tomatoes
Here are some tips on how to peel and remove the seeds from the tomatoes:
- score the top and bottom of the tomatoes
- blanch in boiling water for 1 minute before transferring to an ice bath and pull the peels off with ease
- slice the tomatoes into fourths and remove the seeds with your fingers
In a medium sized stock pot combine everything except the vinegar and mix. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a simmer.
Next, cover and continue to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the eggplant has broken down and reduced significantly.
Check the consistency and if it's too dry add a splash of water. Finally, add the vinegar and mix to combine. Mash to desired consistency with a fork.
Serve with a slice of toasted bread, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cilantro and paprika if desired.
Zaalouk is one of those Moroccan dishes that can vary a great deal from household to household. You may notice small details like which spices are used, how the eggplants are prepped, and other add ins.
Here are the most common variations I've noticed:
- Cooking the Eggplant Separately - many Moroccans will roast or steam the eggplants before processing and adding to the tomatoes and spices.
- Herbs & Spices - while I stuck to the traditional herbs & spices I grew up seeing my dad and grandma use, they will vary by household. This ras el hanout is a great catch-all blend to use when experimenting with Moroccan cuisine and salads in particular.
- Peppers - some families add roasted peppers or even red chili flakes to this eggplant dip to add a smokey and/or spicy bite to the dish.
How to Serve Zaalouk
Zaalouk can be served as a salad, dip or entree (more on that later).
To serve it as a salad or dip, simply add to a plate and top with a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of paprika if desired. Serve with freshly toasted bread.
A complete recipe for Zaalouk tagine is coming soon. In the meantime, it's fabulous served warm on top of this Moroccan Lamb Shank Tagine.
This eggplant dip holds up really well in the fridge for up to 1 week when stored in an air tight container. It can be served hot or cold.
Warm it up for a few minutes in the microwave, or on the stovetop with a splash of water to loosen it up.
More Moroccan Salads to Try
Moroccan cuisine is famous for its vast selection of salads.
Traditionally served in small plates around the main dish (usually a tagine), they are as flavorful as they are colorful.
Try these Moroccan salads: