Who isn’t a fan of fresh herbs? They take ho-hum chicken, fish, salad, potatoes to the ultimate level. Whether you’re using a pinch or a whole bunch, they pull your recipe together and turn it into something a little less meh and a little more wow.
Chermoula is your one stop herb-packed marinade or sauce for all your fish, meat and veggie needs. In the summer, it’s the sauce we use on our grilled chicken and veggie kabobs. In the winter, we slather all over steak or fish. Either way, it brings a smile to my face every time it lands on our table, and is so much more healthy than the regular ketchup, barbeque sauce or hot sauce that we used to reach for, since it doesn’t have all the added S’s (sugar, salt).
So what is chermoula? Born in Morocco, it’s a rich, spicy mix of cumin, coriander, saffron and parsley. Add dash of olive oil and you’ve got yourself a rub. Add some more oil, and it’s a paste. Add even more, there’s your marinade. I’m not going to tell you which way to use it. You do you.
There is no one traditional recipe—everyone leaves their own thumbprint on it, but its popularity is a sure nod to the pride Morocco takes in its spices. This version is my favorite, but feel free to experiment—try adding cardamom, dill or some roasted chili peppers.
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, lightly toasted
- 1 pinch saffron
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Mix cilantro and parsley in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Place toasted coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar and grind until seeds reach a coarse powder. Add saffron and grind until combined.
- Stir in salt, garlic, paprika and chili powder.
- Add in herbs, one handful at a time, grinding together with the spice mixture as you go.
- Transfer to a small bowl and stir in lemon juice and olive oil. Add additional olive oil or salt, if desired.
- Serve with fresh grilled fish, chicken or vegetables.
food for thought
If it’s important you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.