A spicy North African sauce that enlivens meat, poultry, and fish. With herbs, earthy spices, and lemon, it is a great marinade and terrific condiment. Add tomatillos for a new flavor twist.
- 1 lb. small tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed (optional)
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 6-8 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. chile paste (or ½-1 fresh chile, seeded and chopped)
- Prepare grill for medium heat. Toss tomatillos on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until insides are jammy and skins are blackened, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl and let cool; discard liquid that drains into bowl.
- Sprinkle cumin seeds in a skillet and toast them over medium to high heat, stirring, until they smell fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mini-chopper or food processor, place the tomatillos, parsley, cilantro, garlic, smoked paprika, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 6 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, chile paste, and toasted cumin. Grind until smooth.
- Taste and add the additional teaspoon of lemon juice and the rest of the olive oil (or more), if necessary, so the sauce is a loose paste.
Chermoula can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.