Roasted whole fish with the Moroccan sauce Chermoula, Morocco’s salsa, is a sauce of parsley, cilantro, pepper flakes, garlic, lots of lemon, olive oil and a sprinkle of coriander.
While your fishmonger may lure your eyes to buy a big beautiful whole fish, the preparation may feel intimidating.
This recipe and preparation is the perfect solution for buying such a beautiful fish and enjoying it roasted in a style well enjoyed in Morocco.
Ask your fishmonger to scale and filet the fish. Ash them to save the head and center bone for an amazing Fish Stock you can make and freeze for another recipe.
I often ask my fishmonger for fish scraps that others don’t ask for and simply allow the fishmonger to throw away.
Fish scraps, you say? Oh Yes! Some of the best flavor and gelatin is found in the head of a fish and in using the center bone of a whole fish that still has lots of bits and flavors of the fish.
What Is Chermoula?
No fish recipe of Morocco would be complete without the marinade of herbs, spices, pepper flakes or garden fresh chili peppers, garlic and lemon in the easy Moroccan salsa.
While Chermoula can be made any time of year, I love growing a variety of chili peppers, large mounds of parsley and cilantro during the summer months, then make a huge batch of Chermoula to use and freeze.
Once a large batch of Chermoula is made, simply divide into small containers and freeze to use throughout the winter months.
Chermoula is not only delicious as a sauce over meat or fish, but is also a flavor packed addition to all your winter soups. Lots of flavor is already in the mix, so little else is needed when cooking with it.
Ingredients Needed For Chermoula
While you can find the recipe for Chermoula here, I wanted to give you a heads up on what you will need, then just pop over there and whip that fabulous Moroccan salsa together in minutes!
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice and zest
- Smoked paprika
- Red pepper flakes or garden chilies
- Course salt
Let’s face it, while fish is absolutely fabulous to eat, just about anyway you prepare it, it is still colorless; like, fifty shades of white, after its cooked.
Rainbow chard is such a beautiful vegetable without a strong intrusive flavor. The stems are delicious alone but when separated from the leaves, chopped and sautéed to bring out both their flavor and color, they are perfect with this dish.
Rainbow carrots are just too whimsical not to include with the rainbow chard in this recipe. They add both color and the texture of a little crunch.
Tossed with a little Chermoula, a few tai-colored potatoes with these veggies, they steam beautifully wrapped inside the bundle. Veggies and fish both absorb and impart flavor to the dish as a whole.
Ingredients Needed For Whole Fish With Chermoula
- Whole fish
- Rainbow chard
- Rainbow carrots
- Tri-colored potatoes
- Olive oil
- Food processor
- Baking dish
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Mixing bowl
Whole Fish with Chermoula and Rainbow Veggies
- Whole Red Snapper, or other fish – 2 pounds or more, bone removed
- Rainbow chard – 1 bundle
- Rainbow carrots – about 6
- Tri-colored potatoes – about 10
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Chermoula – 1 cup
- Preheat oven to 375
- Cut potatoes into quarters. Peel and chop carrots into half inch pieces. Remove stems of the rainbow chard and chop into half inch pieces. Rough chop the chard leaves. Place all the chopped veggies in a bowl.
- Prepare a lightly oiled baking dish with a little olive oil. Split the fish into two pieces, top and bottom. Lay the bottom piece of fish onto the baking sheet. Spread a little Chermoula on both sides of the fish. Do the same with the top piece of fish and lay it on top of the bottom piece, making them appear whole.
- Add remaining Chermoula and any remaining olive oil to the veggies and toss well. Spread the vegetables around the fish.
- Cover and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve.