What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin-olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water

We fell in love with this sauce before we even tasted it. The name alone compelled further investigation, and the ingredient list piqued our interest even more. Charmoula, charmoula, it rolls off the tongue, it is delicious and delightful and it is definitely the new sauce of the season. But what IS it?

It’s a Moroccan herb and paprika sauce, but that mild description falls short of the sum of these parts. It’s like pesto and chimichurri and a snappy vinaigrette all met up in a North African spice market and danced and swirled and tumbled around together until they all blended together. Like that, kind of, but really you will understand this best by making it, and eating it. On everything.

It’s good as a marinade, baste, and a sauce, over grilled chicken, or lamb, or seafood. Because it has no added sugar, it doesn’t burn over the high heat of the grill, but a fresh application of charmoula over grilled whatever provides a welcome burst of fresh flavor and moisture. We had just a bit left over after testing; it made a fine drizzle over breakfast potatoes, too. The ingredients call for sweet or smoked paprika, but having made it with the smoked variety, I’d highly recommend you do the same.


Roughly chop the herbs and garlic. chop herbs

In a blender or food processor, combine the herbs with the salt, paprika, pepper, cumin, lemon juice, oil, and water. pulse until blendedRun the machine in short pulses, until all ingredients have been transformed into a coarse puree.
tasteTaste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and lemon juice, or additional peppers, as desired.
serve immediately Like most sauces made with fresh herbs, charmoula is best enjoyed within a few hours of making.

Over to You

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