This side dish is really just another version of pan-seared vegetables with “insert descriptor”-sauce. But in this case, it’s a pretty tasty sauce. There are certainly more complicated formulations of charmoula out there, and I encourage you to experiment with them. I chose this one because it was quite simple yet still had the citrus notes and slight bitterness that I was looking for. I think the seared garlic played well with it as a complimenting flavor. The way that it coated the vegetables was delightful, and I caught Brinn ramming some helpless artichoke down into the bottom of the serving dish in an effort to soak up more of the sauce.
One of the nice things about dishes like this is that they are simple and have a bright bold flavor to set off meat dishes. In this case, the vegetables accompanied Kefta (a Mediterranean spiced meat ball) simmered in broth. Both were served over a bed of couscous. For reference, here is the link to the Kefta recipe; I really encourage you to give it a try. The charmoulized vegetables in this dish complimented the heavily spiced meat very well and would probably be a great companion to quite a few of the heavier meat dishes out there. Let us know what you think of the flavor of charmoula, and also if you have any variants that you particularly like.
- 3 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch thick slices
- 8 to 10 small artichoke hearts, sliced lengthwise (about one 14 oz. can)
- 1 small sweet pepper, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- For Charmoula
- 4 small cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. paprika
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne, ground
- 2 tsp. cumin
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- Prepare charmoula by processing all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. This mixture should be quite fluid.
- In a medium skillet or wok, heat about 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium high heat.
- When hot, add the garlic and stir fry until browned. add the zucchini slices, cook until the outsides are seared and the zucchini begin to soften. Add the artichoke hearts and pepper and heat through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place cooked vegetables on serving plate and dress with charmoula.