I got this recipe for chermoulah from an old copy of Fine Preserving which is annotated by MFK Fisher in the version I have. I tried this particular recipe because she declared it one of the best in the book. Although I’ve only tried a dozen or so of the recipes, I have to agree. It’s green peppers cooked in olive oil and vinegar, with garlic, coriander, and paprika.
She says to serve it as an appetizer, which I do. Sometimes I can make a meal of it if I have some good French bread to sop up the juice. Other times I layer the cooked peppers on a sandwich or add them to a salad. I do as she (MFK) suggests, and typically cook up at least two different colors of peppers. Today I used red and green. If you do that, cook them each up separately then combine in a jar.
The warning of botulism is a good one. I guess people sometimes think the oil protects against things from going bad, but botulism thrives without oxygen. The book says to keep them in refrigerator, of course, and to eat them up within 3-4 weeks. As MFK notes, they never last that long anyway around here.
Chermoulah: Cooked Peppers In Oil with Garlic
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp eash salt and pepper
- 2 peppers, seeded and sliced into 1/2" strips
- 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled peeled
- Cook this all together over a low heat. I do it so that the oil is barely making bubbles. The original author, Catherine Plagemann, says 15-20 minutes. MFK likes it a bit crisper and does 10-15 minutes.
- Cool and refrigerate. It should be eaten within a few weeks, although, like MFK notes, it never lasts long enough in my house to push that time limit.
Peppers are on sale around here and this is a fantastically delicious treat! And of course, at the end you’re left with some wonderfully flavored oil for salad dressings and whatnot.
When I search for chermoulah I get a green marinade from Morocco and nothing like these peppers. Perhaps they have another name?