This dish is a Moroccan salad served as part of a mezze table. It is one of my favorite salads ever! The combination of eggplants (my favorite veggie) and peppers with garlic and vinegar is divine! In our house we eat it as a side dish or on a sandwich. It is best to make it a day before you plan on serving it, to let the flavors combine.
- For this recipe you want to use the Globe or Italian eggplants. When picking eggplants try to go for the ones that are lightweight and have less seeds. The eggplants come in two forms, female and male. If you look at the bottom of the eggplant (opposite of the stem) you’ll notice that the eggplant has an indentation that is either small and shallow, which means it is a male, or concave and wide, in which case it’s a female. Female eggplants tend to have more seeds then the male ones, so you want to look for male eggplants.
- You may opt to fry the eggplant cubes instead of roasting them in the oven. Although this is the original way to make them for this recipe I opted to roast them because it is less massy and a little less oily. The result is not exactly the same, but it is very close.
- You may need more than one baking sheet to accommodate all the eggplant. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until eggplant is turning golden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside.
- You may use any color pepper you would like except for green. The reason is that the peppers add some sweetness to the salad that green bell peppers don’t have.
- I like to grill bell peppers every once in a while and use them for different dishes. It is very easy to do and doesn’t take long. Use this link for tips on how to grill peppers. Once peppers are cold enough to handle, peel the skin, discard of the stem and the seeds, and cut the flesh into ½ inch strips.
- If you choose to use peppers from a can make sure they are unflavored and unpickled. That will dramatically change the flavor of the dish.
- Resist the temptation to eat the salad once it is made. The flavors need to combine and develop and the salad tastes much better the following day, after all flavors are absorbed.