Chermoula with Roasted Squash

November 16th, 2017 4 Comments

 

Chermoula is one of my favorite flavor bombs of all times.

To quote a comment from my friend Heather on my Chermoula post of years ago:

“One word…MAGIC.
This little gem creates magical alchemy with anything it touches.
And I have been introducing it to everything I eat.
It is indescribable on veggie tacos.
As I was conjuring it, I thought ‘Oh, this doesn’t make very much.’
A mother of five, quantity is always lurking in my consciousness.
Chermoula packs a flavor explosion in such a small measurement.
Abundance abounds in a tiny physical vessel.
I love that.”

 

Is that not a great encouragement to try this little paste?

 

 

Paste from the dictionary: “semisoft…of pliable consistency…a preparation offood reduced to a smooth, soft mass, as for a relish or for seasoning.”

I say a Paste = flavors packed into a spreadable form.

They are usually made from a mixture of herbs, spices, oils and often something acidic like lemon or vinegar and can be served with vegetables, meats, pastas, and even fruits.  The liquid and oil help them to bind to other textures, and the herbs make it dynamic on your tongue.  Some of my favorite pastes are Chermoula, Harissa, Pesto, Adobo, Jerk, Chutneys, and Garlic Chili paste.  There are so many, many loveable pastes.

Chermoula (or charmoula) is a paste of North African origin and generally is made with fresh herbs, oil, garlic, lemon, cumin, salt, and occasionally with additions of ginger, onions, and saffron.  Think of it as a zesty cilantro pesto.

 

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Butternut is such a handy variety of squash because the long meaty neck is easy to peel and slice into chunks before roasting.  Other squash also have fantastic flavor but it takes a little more finesse when peeling and cubing something round.  Or forget the small pieces and just slice the squash in half and roast it, then slather chermoula onto each side of the cooked squash.  Either way will be a tasty addition to your dinner.

 

 

 

Chermoula with Roasted Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes for Chermoula, 10 minutes for the squash

Bake Time: 35-45 minutes for the squash

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The Chermoula

Coarse Chop then grind with a mortar and pestle or blend in a food processor:

2/3 cup Fresh Cilantro

2/3 cup Fresh Parsley

1 – 2  Garlic cloves

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon juice

Add:

2-3 teaspoons Sweet Paprika

2 teaspoons Cumin, ground  (or if you can freshly grind the seed, it’s divine)

2 teaspoons Coriander, ground (ditto on grinding the seeds)

3/4 teaspoon Salt

1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper

Pinch of Cayenne

Stores at least a week in the refrigerator, or at least 3 months in the freezer.

 

The Squash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and cube:

1 Butternut Squash

Toss with:

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Spread squash cubes on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then flip the cubes with a metal spatula.  Continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned. 

Transfer to a bowl and gently stir in the Chermoula to taste.  Serve warm.

Additional Options:

-Top with chopped Walnuts or Pinenuts

-Sprinkle with Feta

-Serve with Lamb, Poultry or Fish

-Instead of (or in addition to) the Squash, use other vegetables like Cauliflower, Carrots or Beets

 

 

 

A few months ago the knife family grew with the addition of a 10″ Carbon Steel Chef’s Knife of Bob Kramer design made by Zwilling!  Very exciting.  Check out his video about the process.  Bob is an artist and a hero, and his beautiful knives are just a few of the many, many things for which I am Thankful!

 

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Not a bad line up…

The orange handled 9″ knife is also new to me—made by the Swedish company EKA.

It’s been a good year.

 

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“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

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~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Norma says:

    Perfect for Thanksgiving – wish I was there!!

  2. Sarah Rutledge says:

    I love your knife family! I can see the resemblance.

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