Moroccan salad trio – woo your guests

As promised in my previous Moroccan post, here are the recipes for chef Hasna’s three entrées from my Riad cooking class. We ate delicious food throughout our trip, but I must say that our meal with Hasna in Marrakech was the best.

Eggplant salad

I’m a huge fan of the Tuscan interpretation of eggplant side dishes: thick roasted slices covered with fresh chopped parsley, and preferably drenched with Tuscan olive oil – which is bright green and has spicier aromas than the extra virgin varieties from Spain and Greece. Hasna’s Moroccan eggplant recipe is totally different and offers a welcome change on an old favourite. The tangy sauce deliciously soaks through the vegetable and the presentation – due to how the eggplants are cut – is radically different.

Eggplant salad entrée

Ingredients:

  • 3 little aubergines (short variety). Keep the top on and simply neatly trim the top as to remove the points of the leaves – like a bowl-haircut!
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1 large peeled tomato or two small ones
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of salt
  • ¼ cup of oil
  • ¾ cup water

Preparation:

Use a cheese grater’s side with big holes and grate the tomato into a bowl. Do the same with the peeled garlic clove.

Take the coriander and chop it very finely so that it’s almost a purée – this really does make a difference. When I initially chopped it, Hasna laughed at me and smiled when she said, “you’ll have to do a better job than that! Chop more.”  Add it to the tomato and garlic mix.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise, always keeping the “hat”.

Transfer the tomato, herb and garlic mix along with the aubergines to a stovetop casserole and add the rest of the ingredients (the aubergines should pretty much be covered in liquid). Set to a soft boil and let cook until all the juices have evaporated. By then, the aubergines and their “hats” should be nice and tender.

Set aside to cool before plating and serve at room temperature.

Zucchini salad

In this recipe, our friend the zucchini is merely an excuse to eat the sauce…

Moroccan zucchini salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 small zucchinis, (or 1 big one) sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar

Preparation:

Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients except the zucchini and the salt into a little bowl. Mix well and set aside at room temperature for the flavours to combine. Meanwhile, set a small pot of water to boil on the stove. Add the 1 ½ teaspoons of salt along with the zucchini slices and let boil until they are soft (about 15-20 minutes).

Once the zucchini slices are cooked, strain and let cool. When you are ready to serve, dispose zucchinis on every plate and drizzle with the sauce.

Moroccan tomato salad, “salade Marocaine” 

This might be the most universal dish in Morocco, found throughout its numerous regions with very little variation. It is served before nearly every dinner, be it in local homes, side of the road restaurants or high-end ones. While most people don’t bother to peel the tomatoes (which makes for a fine salad anyways), Hasna’s version was truly the best. So I figured that every detail counts in preparing really good salade Marocaine – including the somewhat daunting labour of peeling the raw tomatoes.

Cooking class in Morocco with Hasna

 Ingredients:

  • 5-6 tomatoes peeled and cut into cubes – pits removed to have just the flesh
  • 1 red onion diced into fine cubes
  • A bunch of fresh coriander, chopped finely

Moroccan cooking class, tomato salad

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients together. Transfer them to a sieve, place the sieve over a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve at room temperature.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Food

Author:aalavoie

Aspiring food writer, serious traveler, media enthusiast and communications specialist from Montréal, Canada. www.facebook.com/LavoiealaBouche Follow me on twitter @aalavoie

Subscribe to La voie à la bouche's RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

%d bloggers like this: