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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 1½ cups dip

Zaalouk is a creamy cooked Moroccan salad that eats like a dip. This oil-free version pairs perfectly with toasted pita bread as an appetizer for a dinner party, but it’s also delicious on its own. Fragrant cumin, cayenne, and cilantro add a beautiful depth of flavor to simmered eggplant and ripe tomatoes. For a smokier flavor, roast the eggplant on a grill before partially peeling, then proceed to Step 1. When peeling the eggplant, do it in strips so that about half of the peel remains. It will cook faster that way without falling apart.

Tip: Use the reddest tomatoes you can find for this recipe. Keep tomatoes out of the refrigerator until they reach maximum ripeness. They should lightly give when pressed.

Oil-free Zaalouk in a blue vowl with a metal spoon and a side of pita bread

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant (1½ lb.), partially peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (3 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped roma tomatoes or canned diced San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 1 date, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 rounds whole wheat pita bread

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet combine the first seven ingredients (through cayenne). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until eggplant is very tender. Mash tomatoes and eggplant lightly with the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. In a clean, dry skillet warm pita rounds over medium 4 minutes, turning once. Cut each round into eight wedges. Serve with zaalouk.

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Emily Citraro4 months ago
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I used date syrup instead of a date, smoked paprika, and “Old Bay” instead of straight cayenne. I added more lemon juice and only had a little Vietnamese cilantro, about 2T chopped finely. It was superb and I ate it over brown rice since I didn’t have pita.

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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a vegan chef specializing in whole-food, plant-based cuisine. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of the Forks Over Knives: Flavor! cookbook, recipe author for the book Forks Over Knives Family, and recipe contributor to The New York Times best-selling book The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives magazine, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit darshanaskitchen.com for more.

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