This Moroccan herb sauce, or chermoula sauce, was a big hit with my kids and guests when I made it last week. It’s a perfect sauce and marinade for all types of fish, though the kids were putting it on everything from quinoa to potatoes.
I spotted the recipe seeking inspiration for the massive, month-long, Jewish holiday cooking frenzy that I am only now barely recovering from. I found it in Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food – it’s also in her book, Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon (it’s a beautiful book).
I used the chermoula sauce as a marinade for a roasted white fish I prepared with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic. I had the fishmonger “butterfly” the fish (removed the bones, but kept the fish intact). Keeping the fish whole worked well for serving a large group since the fish did not dry out like fillets tend to do if you overcook it.
Adapted from Claudia Roden. Other variations to try include adding preserved lemons, grated fresh ginger, ground coriander, or chili flakes. Though traditionally served with fish, try it on grilled vegetables or chicken.
1 bunch cilantro, parsley, or a mixture of both
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Blend together in a food processor or blender.
Makes about 3/4 cup.
More Chermoula Recipes on the web:
Fish Chermoula | Gourmtet – Fish fillets are marinated in the sauce and baked in the oven.
Green Beans and Carrots in Charmoula Sauce | Fine Cooking – Vegetables are tossed with the sauce.
Roasted Lamb Chops with Charmoula | Bon Apetit – This recipe uses mint as part of the chermoula marinade.