Eggplant Zaalouk 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Book Report Mar 23, 2017

This smoky eggplant and tomato spread is among Paula Wolfert’s favorite Moroccan salads.

Make Ahead: The salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 2 eggplants (about 12 ounces each)
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt, or more as needed
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces peeled, seeded and finely chopped tomatoes (fresh or no-salt-added canned)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet Spanish smoked paprika (dulce pimenton)
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


Position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiling element; preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then lightly grease with cooking oil spray.

Cut the eggplants in half and place them cut sides down on the baking sheet. Broil for about 20 minutes or until blackened and collapsed. Transfer the eggplants to a colander to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh and let it drain in the colander, discarding any large pockets of seeds. Squeeze gently to extract more juices.

Use the flat side of a chef’s knife to crush the garlic (to taste). Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and mash to form a paste.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in an enameled cast-iron pan, over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the tomatoes, salted garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have thickened into a sauce and most of the moisture in the pot has evaporated.

Add the eggplant flesh, using the back of a spoon or fork to crush any big lumps. Stir in the cilantro and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, to form a mixture that is thick yet not dry. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Fold in the lemon juice and the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil. Taste and add more salt, as needed.

NOTE: Toast the cumin in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life,” by Emily Kaiser Thelin (M&P, 2017).

Tested by Jane Black.

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