Zaalouk is often served at the beginning of the meal as a salad or dip but it can also accompany grilled meats or fish, kebabs or tagines. The salad is almost always eaten with flatbread ... but we also eat it with a spoon!
1 medium/large eggplant
1 garlic clove
1 medium tomato (or several small tomatoes)
2 Tbsp of olive oil
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp kefta rub
Parsley and cilantro
Grill your eggplant until equally blistered on all sides. Do this either on the BBQ, broil in the oven or in a gas stove directly on the flame. Do not worry, the eggplant will not burn. It needs to cook until it has shrunk by half and most of its water has evaporated. This will take some time, up to 45 minutes or more so make yourself a snack! When the eggplant is almost finished, blister a few sides of the tomato for a minute and the garlic until it's skin has some black marks.
Remove the eggplant and set it on a cutting board. Cut it in half and remove the flesh with a knife or spoon. Cut the tomatoes in a small dice. Crush the garlic as well. Chop your herbs. Add all this to the eggplant along with the spices and keep dicing, chopping and blending while you do so with everything on the cutting board*. Once everything is blended and roughly chopped, transfer to a shallow bowl or plate with a lip, add the olive oil over top and on the sides and garnish with more fresh herbs and some aleppo pepper (optional, for a bit of a kick).
Kitchen note: this can also be done with a pestle and mortar.
Thanks, Mehdi for this delicious recipe!