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  • Writer's pictureEd Joice

Garlic Mustard Chermoula

Garlic Mustard is a common weed that grows in disturbed areas such as the edge of parks, lawns or as a pioneer species where there was a recent burn or clearcut. It will sometimes grow voraciously in flower beds. It’s also a tasty edible herb with a slightly peppery bite. It makes a great substitute for parsley, so I thought, let’s get it going in some chermoula!

Chermoula is much like a North African version of chimichurri. It’s a smokey, tangy, slightly spicy sauce or marinade traditionally used on grilled fishes. In Minnesota, we have no shortage of fish to use this sauce on, though that spice might be a bit much for some folks! This sauce also goes well as a sauce over rice or grits, a condiment to serve on steak or bratwurst, or you could even add extra oil and a little vinegar and shake it up in a jar to make a fun salad dressing. Chermoula varies widely by region (or country) the recipe comes from in Africa, but my version here is a spin on the Moroccan red chermoula.


6 c finely chopped garlic mustard leaves

4 c cilantro leaves, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

⅔ c extra virgin olive oil

⅓ c lemon juice or red wine vinegar

3 dried chilis, crushed (add less or more to taste)

Zest of one whole lemon (or minced preserved lemon peel)

1 tsp coriander

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp salt

Using a large mortar and pestle (if you’ve got one) or food processor combine all herbs and crush until paste begins to form. Add garlic, chilis, and lemon peel or zest. Crush until all are incorporated. Add oil, juice/vinegar, spices and salt. Continue to work the mixture until a kind of sauce is formed without any whole leaves or large bits. Taste. If you want it saltier, spicier, more herbaceous, or more tart, add appropriate ingredient accordingly. Enjoy!

I used this chermoula as the marinade for this grilled chicken breast, as well as served it as a sauce over rice. Grilled poblano pepper and yellow squash on the side.

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