Middle Eastern Eggplant and Tomato Dip (Zaalouk)

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Yesterday I had some people over for lunch and one of the things we made was zaalouk, a traditional middle eastern eggplant and tomato dip. It has all but 5 ingredients (not including olive oil and a few spices) and is super easy to make. Feel free to be inspired and add any other types of herbs or spices you like! Here is my version:

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Eggplant and fresh tomato cooked and smashed with plenty of herbs and middle eastern spices is simple, beautiful and nutritious dip to celebrate the summer harvest. Tomatoes impart vitamin C, eggplants are a good source of fiber, and both contain beneficial phytochemicals -- the potentially cancer-protective lycopene in tomatoes; anthocyanins in eggplant, which may boost brain function and prevent diseases of the heart. The addition of olive oil adds not only healthy fat, but helps absorption of all these health promoting compounds.

By Heather Goesch

Middle Eastern Eggplant and Tomato Dip (Zaalouk)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Servings: 5

Ingredients

1 eggplant
4 plum tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon
1/3-1/2 cup cilantro (depending on how much you like it)
1/3 cup water
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne if you like some heat

Instructions

1. Slice the eggplant in half the long way and roast it at 400 F until it’s soft (about 30 minutes).
2. Separate the flesh of the eggplant from the skin and roughly chop it.
3. Mince the garlic, chop the cilantro and dice the tomatoes.
4. Heat pan with the olive oil. Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute or so and then add the eggplant flesh (discard the skin… or compost it if you’re cool like that), tomatoes, cilantro, spices and water. Cover the pan and lower the heat to medium.
5. Check on the pan every once in a while to make sure there is enough liquid, you can also stir it around and help mash it together. Leave it covered and cooking for 25-30 minutes.
6. After 25-30 minutes, take off the cover and continue to let the mixture simmer if it is too liquidy. Add lemon juice and any additional salt and pepper.

Serve with quinoa, salad, bread, or on it’s own.

1. Slice the eggplant in half the long way and roast it at 400 F until it’s soft (about 30 minutes). 2. Separate the flesh of the eggplant from the skin and roughly chop it. 3. Mince the garlic, chop the cilantro and dice the tomatoes. 4. Heat pan with the olive oil. Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute or so and then add the eggplant flesh (discard the skin… or compost it if you’re cool like that), tomatoes, cilantro, spices and water. Cover the pan and lower the heat to medium. 5. Check on the pan every once in a while to make sure there is enough liquid, you can also stir it around and help mash it together. Leave it covered and cooking for 25-30 minutes. 6. After 25-30 minutes, take off the cover and continue to let the mixture simmer if it is too liquidy. Add lemon juice and any additional salt and pepper. Serve with quinoa, salad, bread, or on it’s own.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 168; Total Fat: 15 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 51 mg; Potassium: 339 mg; Carbohydrate: 9 g;  Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 4 g; Protein: 2 g
Nutrition Bonus: Vit A: 19%; Vitamin C: 17%; Iron: 9%; Calcium: 4%
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