Easily one of my favorite recipes I took away from Morocco – Roasted Eggplant Dip (Zaalouk)!! Literally on par with hummus – it’s that good!
You’ve all heard of baba ganoush – but this is Zaalouk! It’s the Moroccan version of Roasted Eggplant Dip and I feel like most countries will have their own spin on it. Here’s the thing about eggplant – it’s delicious but need it needs. In this recipe is comes in the form of tons of spices, plenty of fresh herbs and lots and lots of garlic. The result is literally going to rock your world. It’s perfection and I dare you not to take down the entire bowl by yourself!
Roasted Eggplant Dip (Zaalouk)
- 2 eggplants about 12 ounces each
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt or more as needed
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces peeled seeded and finely chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Assorted Crudite and Pita for serving sliced cucumbers, radishes, carrots, celery etc
- Position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiling element; preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then lightly grease with cooking oil spray.
- Cut the eggplants in half and place them cut sides down on the baking sheet. Broil for about 20 minutes or until blackened and collapsed. Transfer the eggplants to a colander to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh and let it drain in the colander, discarding any large pockets of seeds. Squeeze gently to extract more juices.
- Use the flat side of a chef’s knife to crush the garlic (to taste). Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and mash to form a paste.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in an enameled cast-iron pan, over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the tomatoes, salted garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have thickened into a sauce and most of the moisture in the pot has evaporated.
- Add the eggplant flesh, using the back of a spoon or fork to crush any big lumps. Stir in the cilantro and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, to form a mixture that is thick yet not dry. Transfer to a serving bowl. Fold in the lemon juice and the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil. Taste and add more salt, as needed.