is yet another wonderful recipe from the cookbook Arabesque by Claudia
Roden. This cookbook covers cuisine from Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon.
particular recipe is Moroccan. It calls for the use of Argan oil, which is called
the "liquid gold" of Morocco. (In this recipe you can substitute extra
virgin olive oil). Argan oil has a wonderful nutty flavor, and is a "finishing
oil". It is quite pricey, but the unique flavor makes all the difference
found this Mashed Eggplant and Tomato Salad to have wonderful refreshing flavor.
Chef Roden suggests that you make it several hours in advance. We refrigerated
it overnight to let the flavor develop. We let it come to room temperature and
served it with an Afghan bread.
Eggplant and Tomato Salad (Zaalouk)
1/2 pounds Eggplant Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon 1 pound tomatoes, peeled and
chopped 5 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely salt 4 tablespoons argan or
extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon paprika good
pinch ground chili pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 tablespoons
chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
garnish: a handful of black olives
the eggplants with a pointed knife to prevent them from bursting in the oven.
Place them on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet and roast them in a hot
oven pre-heated to 425 degrees F for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until they feel
very soft when you press them and the skins are wrinkled. When cool enough to
handle, peel and drop them in a bowl of water with a little lemon juice to keep
their flesh pale.
the eggplants in a strainer or colander with small holes and press out as much
of the water and juice as possible. Still in the colander, chop the flesh with
a pointed knife, then mash it with a fork or wooden spoon, letting the juices
escape through the holes.
the tomatoes with the garlic and a little salt over a low heat for about 20 minutes,
or until reduced to a thick sauce, stirring occasionally. Mix with the mashed
eggplants and the rest of the ingredients, and add salt to taste.
serve, spread flat on a plate and garnish with olives.