Chermoula Roasted Cauliflower & Yogurt Sauce
We like to think of chermoula as a kind of North African pesto. It’s a lush, elegant sauce full of herbs and spices — and so aromatic with its lemon and roasted garlic. It’s traditionally eaten on fish, but here we’ve paired it with sweet, mild cauliflower. We coat it on thick, let it marinate for a bit, and then roast the cauliflower in a hot cast-iron pan until it’s tender and lightly charred. Served in nice, generous slabs and dressed with a dollop of very minty, very creamy yogurt sauce, it’s simply stunning!
We love to make this for guests. It’s right at home in the center of the plate served alongside quinoa, but we’ve also served it alongside pork chops and salmon fillets, where the chermoula does double duty.
Our tip: Chermoula is one of those sauces that, once made, seems to find its way into every meal. We generally make a double batch and spoon it onto sandwiches, eggs, potatoes, or sausages. It’s also a nice one to send home with friends and family. Once prepared, it will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Servings: 4 to 6
For the chermoula sauce:
2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted
1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
1 bunch parsley, rough chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp turmeric
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp flake salt, plus more for finishing
For the cauliflower:
1 whole cauliflower, stemmed
For the mint sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped mint
1 tsp lemon zest
Flake salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 450º.
For the chermoula sauce: In a small pan, lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Allow them to cool, and then grind them up in a mortar and pestle.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ground seeds, cilantro, parsley, garlic, paprika, turmeric, lemon juice, and olive oil. Process until fully incorporated, but not entirely puréed. Season with a teaspoon of salt, and pulse a few times to incorporate.
For the cauliflower: In a gallon freezer bag, combine the cauliflower and two-thirds of the chermoula. Seal the bag and work the sauce into the cauliflower.
Marinate the cauliflower for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
In a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan, season the cauliflower with salt and roast in the oven until fork tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes.
While the cauliflower roasts, make the mint sauce: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mint, and lemon zest. Season with salt and set aside.
When the cauliflower is ready, cut it into 1-inch slices and serve hot with the remaining chermoula sauce and a dollop of yogurt sauce.