The big tastes of the eastern Mediterranean are here - fruity olive oil, cumin, paprika, cilantro, lemon, and the heat of cayenne. Freshly toasted cumin brings out all the enticing flavors, so be sure to take that extra little step. We serve this spicy Moroccan sauce over simply grilled vegetables - fingerling potatoes, peppers, and summer squash of all colors and shapes - and Almond - Cherry Couscous.
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
A pinch or two of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup cilantro sprigs, packed
Combine everything but the parsley and cilantro in a blender and puree until emulsified, about 1 minute. Add the herbs and pulse just long enough to chop them, about 30 seconds. The sauce should be a warm, tawny brown with flecks of bright green.
Make-ahead tip: This sauce is best served right away, but will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two.