Looking for something just a bit exotic to serve the guests this holiday season? Why not try this traditional Moroccan salad! It's spicy and tart at the same time, and would be great served with Middle Eastern flat-bread crackers, or pita bread. And while you're at it, serve it with the roasted red pepper salad here, they work well together and you can roast them at the same time as well. Other serving ideas include Chummous (Chick Pea Spread) and some really good olives, like Calamata or green Syrian olives. If you'll be hosting a large gathering, so you can plan ahead and roast the eggplants, remove the flesh from the skin and then freeze until the day of the event. Once the eggplant has thawed you can add the rest of the ingredients and you're all set!
- 2 large eggplants
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 heaping tblsp cumin
- fresh lemon juice from one large lemon
- fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- option 1: toss in some chopped green onions for an extra kick
- option 2: make a salad by mixing this one with a smaller quantity of chopped roasted peppers, looks lovely!
First of all, let me start by telling you that there are two ways to roast eggplants, resulting in a different taste.
If you are preparing a quantity, you can do both methods and then mix the two for a slightly smoky taste.
- Traditional flame roasted method: Eggplants are set right onto the grill on the stove top, over an open gas flame. Requires moving the eggplants around quite a bit and though one prepares the area with aluminum foil, it can get a bit messy. The result is a smoky taste
- Oven roasted on an aluminum covered tray: This is what I do, much easier and mess free, though no smoky taste. My family prefers the salad with eggplant roasted this way, but it may just be that's what they're used too! I roast the eggplants under the grill for about 45 minutes, turning several times, though you may be able to actually bake them together with other items in the oven with a similar result.
- Poke holes in eggplant with a fork and roast according to one of the methods above
- Eggplants should be very soft, and if you let the skins burn a bit that's fine too.
- After eggplants have cooled cut off tops and cut open (see photo above)
- Remove flesh with a spoon and place in a mixing bowl or in the storage container you'll be using.
- Viogorously chop up the eggplant with a fork to break up stringy pieces and cut any large pieces with a knife if necessary
- Add finely chopped garlic, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Chop some parsley and mix into salad, a must for an appetizing presentation!.
- Taste to make sure you've added enough salt, this is crucial!
- To serve, garnish with sprigs of parsely, and enjoy!