Moroccan Zaalouk (Eggplant Salad) Recipe

While you may be familiar with baba ganoush, the popular Middle Eastern eggplant dip, it's possible you've yet to try a somewhat similar Moroccan eggplant recipe called zaalouk. Similar, and yet different, as the latter is chunkier and typically includes tomatoes while the former is smooth and is made with tahini. Developer Tanika Douglas says of her zaalouk, "The flavors are so bold yet complementary — the smokey roasted eggplant, the sweetness of the tomatoes, the spicy warmth from the paprika and cayenne, and herbaceous notes from the parsley and [cilantro]."

One thing we love about making zaalouk is that it can help in the ongoing fight against food waste since, as Douglas notes, "It's a brilliant recipe to use up old eggplants or tomatoes." It's also pretty versatile since it can be eaten hot or cold and can either serve as a dip for bread, crackers, or crudites or as a side dish or salad to accompany an entree. Douglas also points out that the recipe is vegan and gluten-free and thus, depending on what you dip in it, can be what she calls "a wonderful option for those with dietary restrictions."

Collect the ingredients for the Moroccan zaalouk (eggplant salad)

The bulk of the zaalouk is made up of eggplants and tomatoes. As regards the latter, Douglas says "Ripe tomatoes add to the sweetness in the salad." Where the zaalouk gets much of its flavor, though, is from spices including garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Additional ingredients include olive oil, parsley, and cilantro, plus a sliced lemon to dress up the finished dish.

Bake the eggplant

Set the oven to 425 F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, then put them on a parchment paper-lined pan with the cut sides down. Cook the eggplants for 30 to 40 minutes. Douglas advises, "Make sure the eggplant skins are blackened and wrinkly for an irresistible subtle smokiness." Once the eggplants are cooked, cool them down to the point where you can easily handle them without burning yourself. When they're cool, scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon. The eggplant skins aren't needed for this recipe so you can compost them or just throw them out.

Simmer the vegetables and spices

Mix the eggplant flesh in a pot with the tomatoes, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, olive oil, chopped parsley, and cilantro. Cover the pot, set it on a medium burner, and simmer the vegetables and spices for 25 minutes. Open the lid every once in a while to stir things up and use the spoon to mash the eggplant and tomatoes while you're at it. "Stirring the Zaalouk intermittently is super important in preventing the mixture from sticking to the base of the pan," says Douglas, and it would be a real shame to let it burn at this point.

Garnish the zaalouk

When the zaalouk is cooked, sprinkle it with the parsley leaves and top it with the lemon slices. You can eat it while it's warm or let it cool down since it will taste good either way.

Douglas informs us that uneaten zaalouk can be refrigerated for five days, but says that it can also be frozen. Once it's defrosted, it's ready to eat or reheat as you prefer.

Moroccan Zaalouk (Eggplant Salad) Recipe
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This Moroccan zaalouk recipe features roasted eggplant and tomatoes as its base. Enjoy these tasty eggplant salad on its own or with fresh bread.
Prep Time
Cook Time
eggplant tomato dip with lemon
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 3 medium-sized eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoons mild paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped + ¼ cup parsley leaves for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sliced eggplants onto the tray, cut side down, and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the skin is blackened and wrinkly.
  3. Remove the eggplants from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Using a spoon, scoop out the soft flesh of the eggplant. Discard the skins.
  5. To a medium-sized pot, add the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, olive oil, parsley, cilantro, and cooked eggplant flesh. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. Cook the zaalouk for 25 minutes, covered, stirring intermittently. Use a spoon to mash the mixture and assist in breaking down the eggplant and tomatoes.
  7. Serve the zaalouk warm or cold, on its own or with fresh bread. Garnish with the parsley leaves and lemon wedges.
Calories per Serving 159
Total Fat 7.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.8 g
Dietary Fiber 10.4 g
Total Sugars 12.4 g
Sodium 402.3 mg
Protein 4.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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