Moroccan Eggplant Salad with Chermoula is actually a versatile recipe. It's normally served alongside other salads at lunch time but it can also be served as a side dish or used to garnish grilled or stewed meat. At times I have unconventionally turned it into a dip and served it as canapes, but the traditional version will most likely feature heavily marinated eggplant, which is either served whole or cut into large cubes or slices.Allow plenty of time for marinating, then serve cold or at room temperature to appreciate it better.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Author: Nada Kiffa | Taste of Maroc
2large eggplants(or 4 medium, preferably with not the very seedy ones
Peel 3 or 4 strips of skin lengthwise (top to bottom) from each eggplant, leaving a strip of intact skin between each peeled section. This creates a striped effect; one strip on, one strip off. (Note: Leave the stem intact if preparing whole eggplant.)
If you wish to serve cubes, slices or wedges of eggplant, cut the vegetable accordingly. If serving whole eggplants, make 3 or more deep slits lengthwise, taking care not to cut through the stem end. (The larger the eggplant, the more slits to make.) This will create elongated wedges which are attached near the stem.
Toss the eggplant in olive oil and sprinkle salt all over.
Cooking and Serving
For pieces of eggplants: Preheat your oven to 400° F (200° C). Spread the eggplant in a single layer on a baking pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 40 minutes, or until you see dark edges and some golden brown patches. (The baking time depends on the thickness of the pieces.) Remove from the oven and let cool.
If using whole eggplants, steam them for about 20 to 40 minutes, using a knife to check for tenderness. When ready, the knife should slide smoothly through the eggplant. Set in a colander and leave to drain for a few hours. Pat dry.
Delicately coat the eggplant with the marinade. Add vinegar or lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to your liking. (Alternatively, you can saute the chermoula in olive oil for a few seconds; remove the pan from the heat then stir in the eggplant.)
Gently stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 24 hours.
Eggplant with Chermoula Salad keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir gently before serving.