Chermoula can be bought in jars – but like most things that can be bought ready made – it’s much more fun and tasty when you make it yourself.
Serves two – three
1 x 750g – 800g Dorade sea bream, cleaned and scaled, or two small bream or alternative such as sea bass, grey mullet or snapper
400g charlotte potatoes
1 red pepper
1 banana shallot
2 trusses of cherry tomatoes
Fresh parsley and coriander for garnish
Roasted sunflower seeds
Black or green olives to garnish
Side green salad
For the chermoula:
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh coriander
6 cloves of garlic
4 preserved lemons – peel only
1 tbs dried chilli flakes
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs coriander seeds
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs liquid from preserved lemon jar
8 tbs olive oil
Chermoula is a North African marinade and sauce. It tastes great and is very versatile – like a spicy salsa verde that can be used for roasting any fish and white meat. The preserved lemon gives a distinct North African flavour. It’s not at all pungent or hot or event too full of coriander. I find it is a very pleasant and balanced sauce tasting of herbs and tangy lemon, perfect for coating chicken or fish and goes well served with rice, bulgar wheat, cous cous or potatoes. Add a few more preserved lemons, black or green olives, almonds or other nuts, pomegranates or raisins to complete the regional flavour notes.
This recipe uses the chermoula as a marinade for the fish and a roasting sauce for the fish and vegetables. Chermoula works especially well on the red pepper and aubergine and makes a good partner for the fish. In fact the roasted vegetables with chermoula could be a meal on their own served over a bed of cous cous.
NB: You will need to buy preserved lemons in a jar – unfortunately it is the main distinctive taste in the sauce, but you could omit and perhaps add the flesh or juice from another lemon. You can also buy ready made chermoula in jars.