Thursday, March 19, 2009

Moroccan Eggplant Salad

This Sephardic classic is always a major favorite on our seder table. I roast the eggplant on baking sheets instead of the more traditional pan-frying.

2 large eggplants
2 tablespons kosher salt
olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, mashed to a paste
juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Harissa or dried red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon ras al hanout
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Cut the eggplants in quarters, lengthwise and slice each long piece into 1/2 inch half slices cross-wise. Pat dry, toss with olive oil until all slices are coated and spread out on a couple of sheet pans. Roast at 400 degrees until browned, turning once and making sure not to burn the slices. This can take anywhere from 15 - 25 minutes.

Mix together the tomato paste, garlic, lemon juice, spices, and half of the chopped cilantro in a serving bowl. Add the eggplant slices, coating them with the tomato mixture. (Can be made up to this point a day ahead of serving) Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6

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