Moroccan salad of aubergines and chermoula

Bdenjal (aubergine/eggplant) mchermel is a cold Moroccan vegetarian aubergine salad which will make you appreciate this underrated vegetable even more.

It is an easy and brilliant starter or side dish we serve on our Moroccan tables. There are several ways of presenting it: either whole aubergines slit in length or wedges, cubes or even roughly mashed. Each family may do it differently.

The aubergines are either boiled, fried, steamed or baked. Each one has its fans. Then once drained for a few hours and delicately squeezed to render all liquids if any, the vegetable is smoothered in a thick chermoula and finished with olive oil and lemon and vinegar. So technically you won't need to cook it further

Bdenjal mchermel is best served chilled the next day as it would have had enough time to soak up its marinade.


Baked aubergines seasoned with charmoula

Ingredients
Serves 6
Prep: 15 min - Cooking: 25 min +/-

  • 2 large eggplants (or 4 medium, choose the ones with less seeds)
  • 3/4 cup of fresh chermoula marinade
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar or fresh lemon juice, to taste (you could use more)

Chermoula mix

  • 1 cup of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice



Chermoula paste is the main seasoning in this aubergine salad recipe.


Preparation

Remove 3 or 4 strips of skin from top to bottom while leaving the rest of it in between each strip (on strip of skin on, one strip off). Toss the aubergine bits in olive oil and sprinkle salt all over.

Scatter the aubergines on a covered tray with foil or baking paper. Bake for 30 min
at 210 C or until you see the edges turning golden brown and the surface getting some dark brown patches. 

Steamed cubes of aubergines mixed with chermoula 

Fold the foil on itself so the humidity tenderizes the aubergines. Set aside.

Mix the chermoula paste in a pestle and mortar or a blender

Delicately coat the aubergines with the paste.

Serve cold.

The aubergine salad keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Whole small aubergines steamed and generously marinated with chermoula

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