I’ve been making a lot of “components” lately– you only have to check the homepage to see what I mean: lots of confit, tahini sauce, roasted tomato spread, and for the first time, Chermoula. It’s a North African condiment (you know I couldn’t just stop at harissa) that contains cumin, lemon, herbs– and in my little known section of the Sahara– walnuts.
It reminds you a little of pesto or tapenade– it’s a base that is easy to make and customize. The walnuts made it thicker than I was expecting, but that actually worked in my favor– if you add it too the meat too early, it’ll burn, as I was about to find out– so instead, add it after everything is seared.
You can pair Chermoula with a huge array of different sides– just this week, I’ve eaten it with couscous, on chicken, with bread…so this time I sautéed mushrooms, artichoke, olives, garlic confit and arugula. You can’t beat either one, really.
2-4 Tilapia Filets
3 Cups Arugula
2 Cups Roasted Walnuts
2 Cups Mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 Cup Artichoke Hearts, sliced thinly
1 Cup Parley, chopped
1/2 Cup Mint, chopped
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbs Black Olives, diced
2 Tbs Garlic Confit
1 Tbs Coriander & Cumin Seeds, toasted
1 Guajillo Chili, soaked and seeded
1 Tsp Pomegranate Molasses
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Season Tilapia with salt, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator.
- Combine walnuts, parsley, mint, lemon juice, guajillo chili, toasted coriander and cumin seeds, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and pulse. Once a paste begins to form, add olive until you reach your desired consistency. Set aside.
- Remove tilapia from the fridge, and preheat the oven to 425. Add to a pan with confit garlic, and place directly into the oven. Coat with chermoula once the fish is turns white on the surface, then bake for roughly 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Sauté mushrooms in a large pan until browned, season with salt, and allow the excess water to evaporate. Add remaining garlic confit, olives, and arugula. Remove from the heat when the greens wilt.
- Plate and serve with pomegranate molasses (to taste).
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