Salade Marocaine (Moroccan Tomato Salad)
Adapted from Saveur, 2000.
3 medium ripe tomatoes, or 6 Roma tomatoes (preferred in winter)
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 minced seeded green chile
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Dice tomatoes and place in a strainer. Sprinkle with salt, toss gently, and allow to drain for 30 minutes.
Combine parsley, green chile, cumin, white vinegar, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add tomatoes, mix thoroughly, and serve at room temperature
Salade d’Aubergine/Zaalouk (Moroccan Roasted Eggplant Salad)
This warm Moroccan Eggplant Salad (Zaalouk) combines cooked eggplant, tomatoes, and classic spices and is enjoyed as a side or alone with lots of bread. The cinnamon is not traditional, but I added it because cinnamon was featured in my favorite version of this at Café la Tolérance, Essaouira, Morocco.
Adapted from Lands & Flavors blog.
1kg or a little over 2 lbs of eggplant
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
1½ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon (or more) red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
½ cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ to ½ cup (a large handful) cilantro, chopped
olive oil for roasting the eggplant and for finishing the salad
Peel the eggplant, leaving a few strips of skin for color and structure, and slice lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices. Drizzle a large parchment-lined baking sheet with a generous tablespoon of olive oil and arrange the slices evenly. Drizzle another generous Tablespoon of olive oil over the slices, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and roast in a 450°F oven. Roast until the slices are cooked and browned, around 35 minutes. Once they are golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the counter.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic and cook for around 30 seconds. Add the paprika, cumin, cinnamon and hot pepper flakes and bloom the spices in the hot oil for 10 seconds before quickly adding the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, black pepper, and bay leaf. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes.
Now chop the cooked eggplant slices into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the sauté pan, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
The eggplant should now be fully cooked and tender but shouldn’t have disintegrated. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and the chopped cilantro. Give it a taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.