Zaalouk Toasts with Burrata Recipe

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Zaalouk toast for all! Golden crisp sourdough toasts topped with a smoky eggplant and tomato mixture, plus creamy burrata and olive oil drizzles over it all.

Do you love things on toast? HELLO, NO NEED TO ANSWER BECAUSE “THINGS ON TOAST” IS A PERFECTLY GLORIOUS FOOD GROUP. Check the food pyramid, it’s gotta be there.

This time, we’re piling golden crisp, olive oil-griddled sourdough toasts with a tangy, smoky, deeply-flavored roasted eggplant & tomato mixture called zaalouk. Then you’ll top that with some creamy fresh burrata, olive oil drizzles, fresh black pepper cracks, and herb sprinkles, and wowowowow, what a fun treat.

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Zaalouk in a bowl with a spoon

What Is Zaalouk?

Zaalouk is a traditional Moroccan stewed salad made up of cooked eggplant and tomatoes, and then garlic, olive oil, and a combination of spices that can vary by region. The vegetables can also vary a bit, sometimes peppers, cauliflower, carrots or others are used, but the most popular is eggplant and we are big, big fans. The Arabic word “zaalouk” means “puree or something soft” and that is exactly what the beautiful end result texture of this is. A kind of chunky swirl of roasty eggplants and stewed tomatoes heavily laced with cumin and paprika that is the perfect swath on top of any toast.

It is often served as a side dish or spread, but we’ve definitely piled up the bread and hogged all the burrata to make an entire meal out of this smoky, saucy, quietly spicy little treat.

We sourced Fit Men Cook and Taste of Maroc (which also has some wonderful info about the origin and variations of zaalouk) for recipe inspiration here to get to this lovely Moroccan-inspired dish. Though fresh tomatoes are most often used for their more complex flavor and sweetness, this recipe is using canned tomatoes for ease and time and we favored all parsley over a cilantro/parsley mix.

Some zaalouk recipes call for eggplant to be added right to the tomatoes, others for roasting the eggplant first, and that is definitely the route we took — with little garlic cloves tucked inside (not traditional but so, so good) — for maximum smokiness because the depth of flavor is just very, very chef’s kiss.

Ingredients For These Zaalouk Toast Cuties

Cheese isn’t traditionally served with zaalouk, but once you’ve got tomatoes and olive oil and toasty bread near us, we really can’t be stopped. These times almost always call for burrata. Here’s what else you’ll need to make this happen:

  • eggplant
  • a can of crushed tomatoes
  • fresh garlic & parsley
  • paprika & cumin
  • red pepper flakes for heat (optional)
  • sourdough or other crusty bread
  • fresh burrata
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, and more herbs for topping
Zaalouk toast on a plate with herbs

Let’s Assemble Zaalouk Toasts

Tha zaalouk itself comes together easily enough and it’s definitely worth the little extra roasting time. After that you’re just playing a little game of stacking magic.

  1. Roast the eggplant. Cut it in half lengthwise and make small cuts to tuck the garlic cloves into for roasting. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast until the eggplant is super soft.
  2. Tomatoes and mash. Transfer that roasty goodness to a saucepan and add tomatoes and spices. Mash until you get a chunky-but-smooth-ish texture.
  3. Simmer for a bit and let all those flavors blend together. Add the parsley and season to taste.
  4. Grilled bread! Add some swizzles of olive oil to a heated pan and griddle it up until golden brown and toasty on both sides.
  5. Serve. Top your toasts with a smear of zaalouk and a hunk of fresh burrata. Drizzle with more olive oil, herbs, salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.

What To Serve with These Toasts

Again, traditionally zaalouk is served at the start of a meal or as a side dish but it could easily become a main if that’s what you’re after. We love it on the grilled toasts of course, but it could certainly be served over rice or another grain. If you’re going the app/side route, might we suggest serving this alongside our Simple Green Salad or maybe Liz’s Roasted Broccoli Salad for a full veg meal experience.

As far as cheese, we loved burrata best, but it would be great with others too like a creamy feta, ricotta or goat cheese. Do you only have cream cheese available? Cool, spread that on toast and get at it. Do you also maybe want to try a fried egg on that? Yes, you do! If nothing else, we will not stop you from dipping a regular old grilled cheese into this beautiful business. It’s been known to happen and it is A+.

It also keeps great and, dare we say, gets even better after sitting in the fridge for a couple days, so if you want to have snacks on snacks on snacks for a few days and try ALL THE THINGS with it, this is great option.

Come to think of it, that might be the only option? Zaalouk toasts all day, every day.

Zaalouk Toasts: Frequently Asked Questions

Are these toasts spicy?

Without the red pepper flakes, these toasts are not spicy. Lots of flavor, but no heat. If you wanted to add a bit of heat, you can find optional red pepper flakes in the recipe card.

How thick should I cut my sourdough bread?

Thick 1″ slices of sourdough work great for this recipe.

Can I save leftover zaalouk?

Sure can! Just store it in the fridge for 3-4 days in a sealed container.

Print

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Description

Zaalouk toast for all! Golden crisp sourdough toasts topped with a smoky eggplant and tomato mixture, plus creamy burrata and olive oil drizzles over it all. 


Zaalouk:

  • 1 eggplant
  • olive oil and salt
  • one 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I used crushed San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • red pepper flakes for heat (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

Toast, etc.:

  • sourdough or Tuscan style sliced bread
  • a generous amount of olive oil
  • fresh burrata
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, and more herbs for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Make small cuts that allow you to tuck the garlic cloves into the eggplant so they are almost completely inside (so you can roast them without burning them).
  3. Drizzle the halves with olive oil and salt; roast for 30-45 minutes until the eggplant is super soft and pulls away from the skin easily.
  4. Transfer the eggplant and roasted garlic to a small saucepan; add tomatoes and spices. Mash with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until you get a chunky-but-smooth-ish texture.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add the parsley and season to taste.
  6. For the grilled bread, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a generous couple swizzles of olive oil (probably 2 tablespoons or so) and add your sliced bread to the pan. Cook until golden brown and toasty on both sides.
  7. To serve, top your toasts with a smear of zaalouk and a hunk of fresh burrata. Top with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: Moroccan-Inspired

Keywords: zaalouk, zaalouk toast, moroccan toast

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