A 20-minute cooking time, gorgeous tastes of Morocco and healthy ingredients – what’s not to love about this Zaalouk recipe? I learnt how to make this on a recent trip to Marrakech and I have been gagging to make it since getting home, and now you can too.
Merchant Gourmet invited me to create a recipe with their Freekeh, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get Zaalouk-ing for those lesson notes ;)…
What is Zaalouk?
Zaalouk is a warmly spiced Moroccan salad. In that sense, it can be used as a gorgeous side, but here I have served it as a main with toasted pittas and I love it!
Whilst living Life Without Meat, we are constantly increasing our intake of vegetables and it’s nice to find new ways of cooking and enjoying them. Since learning how to make this recipe with Café Clock in Marrakech, it’s become one of my favourite ways to eat eggplant (aubergine) and tomatoes.
While the main veggie ingredients create the creaminess and texture of the dish, the warm spices and fresh herbs bring all the flavours to life.
How does smoked eggplant (aubergine) make a difference?
When we think of smoked foods, we tend to think of common meats and fish – even cheeses are smoked these days. However, the downside of these foods isn’t something to celebrate. Instead, I want to celebrate the unique and unmissable flavours of smoking your favourite veggies whilst living life without meat. The smoked eggplant and fresh tomato create a deliciously rich, smoky flavour which adds depth – perfect for this Zaalouk recipe!
Freekeh: The benefits of grains and pulses
Incorporating grains and pulses into your cooking is a great way to increase the amount of fibre and nutrient-rich vitamins in your diet.
Freekeh (free-kuh) is baby green wheat – a nutritious and flavourful wholegrain similar to bulgar wheat. It has a distinctive smoky flavour and is particularly popular in the Middle East and Northern parts of Africa.
This ‘young’ grain is harvested much earlier, and therefore retains far more nutrients than grains harvested after they fully ripen.
It’s an excellent source of protein for those of us living Life Without Meat, plus it offers a brilliant amount of magnesium and a significant dose of B vitamins. Plus, it’s credited for being a prebiotic which encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Instead of creating a dish to serve with rice, I’ve incorporated Merchant Gourmet’s Freekeh into this Zaalouk recipe. That way, things are kept simple, healthier and substantial without compromising on satisfaction.
Indeed, Freekeh is also a low-glycemic grain which means it’s slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar – which keeps you fuller for longer.
Due to its smoky flavour, I thought Freekeh would work a dream in this smoked eggplant and tomato Zaalouk recipe I learnt during my time in Marrakech. The smoking of the veggies is really fun and I’m sure it will spark a new enjoyment for cooking in you once you try it.
Much love, G x
Allergens: Wheat (gluten), Celery (coriander). You can make the dish gluten-free by swapping out the Freekeh for a wheat/gluten-free grain and going gluten-free with the pittas. Choose wholemeal pittas for more fiber. If you don't have a tin of plum tomatoes, you can use 3 fresh vine tomatoes in its place. To avoid chilli residue on your fingers, feel free to wear gloves when peeling and chopping it. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Vegetables & Grains:
Allergens: Wheat (gluten), Celery (coriander).
You can make the dish gluten-free by swapping out the Freekeh for a wheat/gluten-free grain and going gluten-free with the pittas. Choose wholemeal pittas for more fiber.
If you don't have a tin of plum tomatoes, you can use 3 fresh vine tomatoes in its place.
To avoid chilli residue on your fingers, feel free to wear gloves when peeling and chopping it.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.