Recipe from Vinaigrettes & Other Dressings by Michele Anna Jordan (Harvard Common Press, 2013)
Recipe Copyright 2013 by Michele Anna Jordan and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press
Chermoula is a traditional condiment found throughout Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. There are myriad variations-some with tomatoes, some with roasted sweet peppers, some with saffron and ginger-and all are delicious. In Morocco, Chermoula is used as both a marinade and a condiment with nearly all types of fish and shellfish. It makes a wonderful dressing for vegetable, bread, potato, or egg salads, as well as salads with mozzarella or burrata.
Savory | Tangy | Fragrant | Spicy
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika, preferably Spanish
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika, preferably Spanish
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or piment d’Espelette
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
Put the garlic in a suribachi or mortar, sprinkle lightly with salt, and use a wooden pestle to crush the garlic into a paste. Add the cilantro and parsley and continue to grind with the wooden pestle until a uniform puree is formed. Add both paprikas, cumin, and chipotle powder, and stir in the lemon juice.
Season with salt and stir in the olive oil. Taste, and correct for salt and acid as needed. Cover and chill; remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.
Chermoula will keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator, but it is best the day it is made.
Preserved Lemon Chermoula: Use the juice of a single lemon and add 2 tablespoons minced preserved lemon (commercial or homemade).
Smoky Chermoula: Replace the sweet paprika and hot paprika with 1 tablespoon smoked paprika.
Fragrant Chermoula: Put a generous pinch of saffron threads into a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon hot water, swirl, and let rest for a few minutes. Add the saffron and its liquid and 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger to the garlic paste before adding the cilantro and parsley.
Best Uses: Carrot salad; zucchini salad; grilled eggplant; sliced tomato and mozzarella salad; fresh greens with burrata; sausage (especially merguez) and bread salad; potato salad; chickpea and rice salad; deviled eggs; summer vegetable soup; grilled chicken or beef