Chermoula: The best sauce you’ve never heard of

Chermoula is an incredibly flavorful condiment or marinade that has its roots in North Africa. It adds an amazing brightness to blanched or roasted vegetables (especially roasted root vegetables or asparagus) and grilled lean proteins, such as fish or chicken.

This recipe is a fusion from two seasoned California Bay Area chefs, Terry Bryant and Joyce Goldstein. The amounts of herbs and spices used can vary such that it is hard to go wrong.

Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons per serving)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Yields about 1 cup:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups minced cilantro
  • 1 cup minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a small sauté pan over low heat. 
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and, when hot, add the red onion and garlic. Gently sauté, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the cumin, paprika, cayenne, and pepper, stir to combine, and continue to cook for about 30 seconds. 
  4. Turn off the heat and transfer mixture to a bowl. Let cool 5 minutes. 
  5. Add the lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, salt, and remaining olive oil to the onion and spice mixture. 
  6. Taste for acidity and salt. Add additional olive oil or salt to taste, as needed.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

For 1/8th of recipe (about 2 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 90
  • Total fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 250 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 3 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Protein: 1 g

Contributor

Benjamin Maring, MD