• Yield: Makes 1 cup, approximately

Chermoula is a pungent Moroccan herb sauce traditionally served as both a marinade and sauce with fish. I think it's great with all sorts of other dishes, such as roasted cauliflower, roasted winter squash or chicken. Sometimes I stir a little into a couscous, too.


  • 2 cups cilantro leaves (2 large bunches)

  • 1 1/2 cups parsley leaves (1 large bunch)

  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), halved, green shoots removed

  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, to taste

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. Coarsely chop the cilantro and parsley. A scissors is a good tool for this; point it tip down in the measuring cup and cut the leaves. Then place them in a food processor and chop very fine, or chop on a cutting board. You should have 1 cup finely chopped herbs.

2. Place the garlic and salt in a mortar and puree. Add a small handful of the chopped herbs, and gently but firmly grind until the herbs begin to dissolve. Add another handful. When all of the herbs have been mashed, work in the spices, 1/3 cup olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more olive oil or salt if desired. Serve with grilled fish and/or vegetables, or with chicken.

Advance preparation: This is best when fresh, but you can pour a film of olive oil over the top and keep it for a few days in a jar in the refrigerator.

This recipe is from Martha Rose Shulman's series Recipes for Health in The New York Times.

Martha Rose Schulman is a chef, cookbook author, educator and food consultant. Her cookbooks have been nominated for James Beard and IACP awards, and her series, "Recipes for Health," appears online for The New York Times.