Spicy Eggplant Salad (Zaalouk)
Harissa is a very hot chile pepper paste flavored with garlic and spices,
much used in North Africa, especially Tunisia. It is available store-bought, or
you can make your own. Here is the recipe for Harissa.
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped
- 4 tablespoons argan oil (from Morocco) or hazelnut, sesame, walnut or mild extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon harissa or a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon paprika and a good pinch of ground chile pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Boil eggplant with garlic in plenty of salted water, in a pan covered with a
lid, for about 30 minutes, or until they are very soft.
- Drain and chop eggplant and garlic in a colander, then mash with a fork, pressing
all the water out.
- Put tomatoes in the emptied pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes,
or until reduced to a thick sauce, stirring occasionally. Mix with mashed eggplant
and remaining ingredients, then add salt.
Makes 6 servings.