Slow-Baked Moroccan Eggplant with Ras el Hanout, caramelized garlic, shallots and tomatoes. A rustic side dish that can be turned into a hearty vegetarian main. Serve with Basmati Rice or homemade Pita, and Tzatziki Sauce. (This makes a big batch, feel free to cut in half.)
- 2 lbs eggplant- Japanese, Chinese or fairytale
- 10 garlic cloves
- 2 fat shallots, quartered
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (or sub fennel seeds)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 medium tomatoes (or 1 lb cherry tomatoes)
- large lemon zest pieces, from one lemon (use a veggie peeler or sharp knife)
Garnish: kalamata or Moroccan olives, Italian parsley, chili flakes ( like Aleppo or Urfa)
Preheat oven to 375F
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise (no thicker than 3/4 inch) and place in an ovenproof baking dish along with the whole garlic cloves and shallots.
Pour over the eggplant and toss well to coat. Cover with foil and bake 20 mins on the middle rack.
After the first 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F and uncover. Add the tomatoes, zest and give a toss.
Continue baking 50-75 minutes, uncovered, checking every 20 minutes, giving a gentle stir, until the eggplant is meltingly tender and creamy. Depending on the eggplant size, the time may vary. Please be patient here and check more often if eggplants are very small.
Once the eggplant is very tender, and edges are crisp, pull out of the oven, cover lightly with foil until ready to serve. Garnish with the olives, fresh herbs and optional chili flakes.
Serve warm or at room temp.
Keywords: moroccan Eggplant, slow baked eggplant, baked eggplant, roasted eggplant, vegan eggplant recipe, eggplant side dish