On a recent trip to Portland Oregon, my friends and me had occasion to dine at Castagna a wonderful tasty restaurant in Portland’s South East side of town. I chose to split a main course with my sister (it was a dish for two per the menu) of charred Northwest Pacific Halibut collar served with a generous heap of slightly spicy Chermoula. I asked the waiter what were the ingredients in the Chermoula and he shared a bit but not all with me.
Friday night for Shabbat dinner I reproduced my own version of this rather tasty sauce and served it on a cheaper cut of steak. Chermoula is versatile, healthy and gives a lift to any meat , fish or poultry. We did not want to eat a large dinner, one of those opportunities with no company, a chance to eat lighter.
I made a plated salad very simply: A bed of wild arugula, oven roasted mushrooms slices, avocado fanned out, a bit of finely diced red pepper for color and thin sliced cucumbers formed the base. On top of this I placed my simply char grilled on the barbecue steak and a big dollop of Chermoula. A squeeze of lemon on the salad portion with olive oil from the roasted mushrooms and any meat juices served as a dressing for the arugula.
To oven roast mushrooms, I sliced; regular button mushrooms, little portabellas, shitakes, trumpet mushrooms and chanterelles. I tossed them in a large glass bowl with quite a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Next spread them, single layer, on a parchment lined cookie sheets, sprinkle with sea salt and place sheets in a preheated 400° F. Roast until golden and starting to crisp.
Serves 4 to 8
1 bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley
1 bunch of cilantro
1/ 3 cup fresh mint leaves (no stems)
2 green onions (scallions)
6 basil leaves, fresh
1 Jalapeño pepper or other spicy pepper such as Serrano
2 cloves peeled garlic (optional)
2 tablespoons finely minced capers
2 anchovies filet (about 2 tablespoons finely minced)
1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup finest quality extra virgin olive oil
1. All herbs should be washed and air dried for ease of chopping, remove stems
2. Finely mince parsley, cilantro, mint, green onions and basil.
3. Place minced herbs in a medium bowl.
4. Seed and mince pepper, add to bowl. Mince garlic, add to bowl
5. add minced capers and anchovies to bowl
6. Add salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Combine all and mash a bit with the back of a spoon.
7. Set Chermoula aside to macerate
8. Chermoula keeps a couple of days refrigerated, it is great on chicken, fish, lamb or beef.
9. Alternatively place all ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse until minced.