Moroccan Meslalla olives with chermoula

Now that Meslalla has become edible after a few days of water treatment and care, Moroccan households usually marinate it with a lemony chermoula mix and serve it as a starter in every meal.

In my last trip to Morocco, my mother shared with me a new recipe she’s come up with to make an even better marinated meslalla and I can’t have enough since I discovered it.

This recipe keeps well in the fridge for a month. It can be served as a starter or can be used for cooking (recipes will follow).

Cooked Meslalla olives served with a baguette
Cooked Meslalla olives served with a baguette. Mum’s favourite breakfast. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Ingredients

For 750g of meslalla
Prep: 10 min – Cooking: 25 min

First Meslalla boiling stage

  • 750g of meslalla ready to use pitted
  • 2 tbps of salt
  • 3 tbps of lemon juice or a few wedges of lemon

Ingredients for chermoula simmering stage

  • 1 cup of tomatoes, grated
  • 1 medium-size onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbps of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of chopped coriander and parsley
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbps of sweet paprika (optional)
  • 1 tbps of harissa or to taste
  • 2 tbps of lemon juice
  • 150 ml of water
  • 2 tbps of extra virgin olive oil

Option (add during cooking)

  • 3 tbsps of agriche (Khlii’ sediments) or
  • strips of khlii (Moroccan cured and preserved meat

Preparation

  • Boil the meslalla olives for 10 mins in water, salt and lemon. Drain.
  • This steps corrects any bitterness in the olive especially if you are using it in its early days of processing (see previous post).

Next, mix all ingredients mentioned in the second step, leaving the olive oil for the end. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add boiled and drained meslalla and stir. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. The sauce should have reduced to nothing by now. If not, make sure you increase the heat and reduce it.

  • You could add the chopped herbs at the same time as the olives. I actually prefer it that way.
  • Add the olive oil and stir. Set aside to cool. Store in airtight containers in a cold place for up to a month.
  • Serve cold.

Author: Nada

Nada Kiffa is an Expert in Moroccan cooking and her recipes are coming from a lineage of Moroccan home and professional cooks. Cooking classes and posted articles are inspired by her family life in Morocco and elsewhere. You will learn what makes a dish Moroccan before learning how to execute it. You will also learn how to work around recipes and cut corners without missing on the flavour.

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