We were having friends over for dinner, and after planning the menu, I remembered that one of the guests HATES eggplant. I had already bought everything I needed to make this, so I whipped up a batch of hummus to serve along with it, so she would have something to eat.
As it turns out, I didn’t need to do that, because this turned out to be the first eggplant-containing food she has EVER liked! That should show all you eggplant-haters out there how awesome this stuff is. Lots of spices, a little bit of heat, and diced eggplant and tomato all simmered together to make this fabulous dip. After cooking, you can either mash it up with a potato masher, or leave it chunky (which is what I did, and it was great).
(adapted from about.com)
1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
5 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro and parsley, mixed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
large pinch sugar
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup water
Mix all ingredients in a large, deep skillet or pot. Cover and simmer over medium to medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat if necessary to avoid burning the zaalouk.
Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. If you want a smoother texture, you can mash up the vegetables with a potato masher
Serve warm with bread or crackers for dipping