Charming Charmoula Herb Paste Recipe

Charmoula (a.k.a. chermoula) is an all-purpose North African herb paste used as a marinade, a sauce for meat, couscous or pasta, relish, dip, or as a spread on pita bread. There are many different ways to prepare charmoula. Some are raw, some cooked, some coarsely chopped, some pureed.

There are five components to charmoula: olive oil, greens (usually cilantro or flat leaf parsley), acid (lemon juice or vinegar), aromatics (garlic, onions, shallots, leeks), and spices (such as ras el hanout).

As background for this recipe, read these articles, The Zen of Herbs & Spices, The Zen of Chiles, the Zen of Garlic, and The Zen of Salt.

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Charmoula is an all-purpose North African herb paste used as a marinade, sauce, relish, dip, and spread.

Course. Sauces and Condiments.

Cuisine. African.

Makes. 1 1/2 cups

Preparation time. 30 minutes

Ingredients

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

3/4 cup olive oil

1 cup cilantro leaves and flat leaf parsley, de-veined and lightly packed

6 cloves crushed garlic

1 teaspoon ras el hanout

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Note. If you can't find flat leaf parsley or cilantro, you can use basil, mint, other parsleys, and other mild herbs.

Method

1) Scrape off the zest of one of the lemons, just the thin yellow exterior, trying to not get the white pith, and add it to a bowl.

2) Cut the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice into a separate bowl. Then strain it into the bowl with the zest.

3) Chop the greens finely and add to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir. If you wish, you can add the whole thing to a food processor and puree it until smooth.

"Give a man food, and he can eat for a day. Give a man a job, and he can only eat for 30 minutes on break."Lev L. Spiro

Meathead Goldwyn

Meathead is the founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, and is also known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", a New York Times Best Seller and named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

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