Moroccan eggplant salad, also known as Zaalouk is naturally vegan and gluten-free! Made from eggplants, tomatoes, and a spice blend, this salad is packed with nutrients and flavors!
Perfect as a dip or a topping for a veggie bowl, the possibilities are endless with this delicious Moroccan salad.
Moroccan eggplant salad – also called zaalouk
Zaalouk is an authentic traditional dish. Made out of eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and a blend of flavorful spices. It’s quite a staple in Moroccan cuisine. It’s flavorful, comforting. It can be served warm or cold.
Cooked eggplant salads may vary from one household to another. The main difference is in the techniques used, but the end result is pretty much the same.
A tangy eggplant salad with the sweetness of tomatoes, a blend of garlic, and fragrant spices. If you love eggplants, you are in for a real treat!! Although zaalouk is called a salad, I believe it’s more of a dip and totally worth sharing.
It’s like eggplant caviar but with a whole other dimension of flavors.
The main component of this comforting yet satisfying salad is eggplant (obviously!) which can be roasted or just boiled. It’s up to your preference.
I like grilling the eggplants on a barbecue to give them an extra flavor of smokiness. But that’s totally optional, the result would still be delicious with just boiling the eggplants.
Even though this Moroccan eggplant salad seems complicated to make, it’s not. It’s not the quickest but definitely worth the extra time.
It’s also ideal for meal prepping! I love making a big batch and freezing it. It can be kept in the freezer for around a month. I divide it into individual portions and heat up a portion every time I need it.
This Moroccan eggplant salad is:
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free
- Perfect warm or cold
- Full of flavors
- Simple to make
- Incredibly good
- Perfect side dish for a barbecue meal or anything really!
Other Moroccan recipes you might want to try:
- Moroccan white bean stew – Loubia
- Moroccan lentil soup
- Moroccan fava bean soup – Bissara
- Moroccan honeycomb pancakes – Bghrir
What you might need to make this recipe:
Moroccan eggplant salad or Zaalouk is a naturally vegan side dish! This tangy and flavorful eggplant salad is the perfect side dish to many meals!
- 3 eggplants large
- 4 tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika (can be replaced with regular paprika)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 preserved lemon (optional)
- pinch of chili flakes
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of pepper
Cut the eggplants into pieces and boil them for about 15min or grill them on a barbecue for an extra smoky flavor. Set aside.
In a large bowl, grate the tomatoes or blend them in a food processor. Set aside.
In a pot, over medium-high heat add olive oil, spices, and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until they are slightly sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato paste and continue stirring and cooking for a few minutes. Don't burn your spices, you are looking for a slight caramelization to develop the taste.
Add your grated tomatoes and cooked eggplants to the pot and stir. Cover and simmer for 10 min stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat if needed to avoid burning.
Using a fork or a potato masher start mashing the eggplants into the tomato sauce. Keep cooking until the sauce is thick and dry.
Add the lemon juice and stir well. Taste to adjust spices. Cut your preserved lemon into pieces and place it on top. Remove pot from the heat.
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