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).
- 2 large lemons
- ¾ 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
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 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.
- Cut the zested lemon and the intact lemon in half and squeeze out the juice into a separate bowl. Then strain it into the bowl with the zest.
- 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.