Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moroccan Eggplant Salad

Have you ever look in your frig and see certain items you normally don't buy when you grocery shop, but at the time it looked so good you had to get? That's what happened to me when I bought 2 large eggplants last week. I like eggplant, I just don't cook it. When I was younger, I did try but it came out horrible. Since then I would just avoid buying or cooking it. However, a local moroccan restaurant makes this eggplant salad that is finger licking good - literally. See you eat the salad with you fingers or by scooping up with a homemade bread that is served with it. So I wanted to do something with these 2 large pretty eggplant (yes, they were pretty). I didn't want to parm it - too easy. Whatever I did, I wanted the flavors to tantalize my taste buds. The eggplant salad came into mind and I immediately attacked the frig. I looked online and found a recipe that had a list of ingredients of which I had at home. Great! The recipe was simple and I was finished in no time - less then an hour. Now, this salad can be served warm or cold. In the restaurant it was always served cold. However, last night the flavors were really good warm so I served it over some basmati rice that had a spring of rosemary and flavored olive oil. This is one of those "I want a light with substance " type of meal. It was also good the next day spread over an organic rosemary boule bread for breakfast. You should try it yourself, here's the recipe:

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe - Cooked Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Serves four to six. Serve with crusty bread to scoop up the salad.

  • 1 large eggplant - peeled and chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes - peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • hot paprika or ground red pepper, to taste (optional)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • small 1" wedge of lemon (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients -- except the lemon wedge -- in a 10” or 12” skillet or pot and mix.Don’t be alarmed by the quantity; the vegetables will reduce as they cook.
  2. Cover the pot and bring to a fast simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant and tomatoes are very tender.
  3. Mash the cooked eggplant and tomatoes with a potato masher or large spoon. If desired, add the wedge of lemon.
  4. Continue cooking -- now uncovered -- to reduce the liquids; this could take another half hour or more. Stir frequently, and adjust the heat as necessary to avoid burning.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat when the liquids are reduced to oils and the zaalouk forms a mass that can be stirred away from the sides of the pan. Adjust the seasoning as desired.
  6. Serve either warm or cold. If desired, drizzle additional olive oil on the salad as a garnish.
Click here for recipe site. Enjoy!!

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