If you ever thought eggplant was boring, then you need to try this Moroccan eggplant with chermoula. The punchy sauce transforms cooked eggplant to make a flavor-packed side or mezze dish.
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For some reason, we had a big gap since I last made chermoula sauce. I'm not entirely sure why - there are other dishes I have made to go alongside fish like salsa verde which has some similarities. But recently it struck me it had been way too long.
I made myself a good-sized quantity of my chermoula recipe and had some with fish, beans and lentils, similar to my baked swordfish and asparagus with lentils and chermoula. Then I used some for this tasty vegetarian dish.
What is chermoula?
If you haven't tried it before, chermoula is a Moroccan sauce made with fresh herbs, cumin, lemon and garlic. It's common to use it both as a marinade and as a sauce.
As you might guess from the above, it's really good with fish but it's also great with many vegetables.
One of the more common traditional uses for chermoula is this eggplant salad. The eggplant is cooked then combined with the sauce. The chermoula kind of acts as a marinade after cooking, infusing it with flavor.
It's pretty common to have a range of appetizers and salads to start a meal in Morocco, similar to mezze, and this is a dish you might often find as part of that.
I had it alongside another simple salad (Moroccan raw carrot salad) and some bread for lunch, but it would also work as a side to many other dishes.
How to make Moroccan eggplant with chermoula
This is an easy dish to make, though there are a couple of potential variations, such as what you put in the chermoula, and how you cook the eggplant.
Traditionally the eggplant is fried but roasting uses less oil, and is all-round easier in my view. Some cook the eggplant whole, but to make it easier to eat after, I've opted for cutting it in to cubes before cooking.
For my take on the dish, all you do is:
- Cut slices of eggplant then cut them into dices.
- Put in a roasting dish and toss with olive oil.
- Roast until gently brown.
- While the eggplant is cooking, make the chermoula sauce.
- Let the cooked eggplant cool slightly then toss with the sauce.
- Leave to cool completely then either serve or chill overnight first.
This Moroccan eggplant with chermoula is easy to make, packed with fresh flavor, and a delicious way to eat healthily. Pack some for lunch, add it to a buffet or alongside a main However you have it, enjoy!
Try these other easy vegan side dishes:
- Japanese mushroom rice
- Easy white bean salad
- Catalan-style sauteed Swiss chard
- Zaalouk (another Moroccan eggplant salad, but smoother and with tomato)
- Plus get more side dish recipes in the archives.
Moroccan eggplant with chermoula
- 12 oz eggplant 340g aubergine (approx)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chermoula sauce (or a little more - approx ½ of recipe)
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Trim the ends off the eggplant and cut into a relatively small dice (bite-sized chunks).
- Put the eggplant on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and toss with the oil. Roast for around 20 minutes until lightly browned.
- Allow the eggplant to cool slightly and toss with the chermoula sauce. Serve cold or at room temperature - the flavors will deepen if left to marinate overnight.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
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