Last weekend, my wife, Christine, and I tried our hand at creating one of the succulent sauces of Morocco. Chermoula, which is often used to top baked fish or chicken has as many variations as there are cooks who have made it. The base usually includes fresh cilantro, freshly squeezed lemon juice, onion, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and paprika. From there it may include roasted cumin seeds, fresh parsley, saffron, cayenne pepper or any number of other spices. The sauce is usually somewhere between bright green to red depending on the amount of Spanish smoked paprika in the recipe. After being blended in the food processor, this tangy, slightly spicy sauce can be used in many different recipes or to simply smear on a piece of crusty bread.
So far, we have made a chermoula lamb dish in the slow cooker, a chermoula chili, and a vegetarian dish created in a dutch oven with chermoula, chick peas, red peppers, onions, and diced tomatoes.
The great thing about Chermoula is that it is it’s own flavorful spice packet. Once you have created it, you don’t need to add any other herbs or spices to whatever you are using it with. It creates the flavor for you.
So, give it a try! You can make our lamb dish or smother some chermoula on a white fish and bake. I have also heard it being used topped on tomatoes as they roast in the oven. Let us know what you use it for. We’d love to know!
Photo Credits: Bill Bradley