The chermoula spice paste adds wonderful flavour to the swordfish in this Moroccan recipe. A clever touch is the crunchy fried boulangere potatoes, balanced by the generous serve of fresh herbs on top.






Skill level

Average: 5 (2 votes)


  • 4 x 150 g fillet of firm-fleshed white fish

Green oil

  • 300 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 stems English spinach
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only

Boulangere potatoes

  • 1 kg desiree potatoes
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 200 g butter, cut into small squares 
  • olive oil for deep frying

Chermoula (Moroccan spice paste)

  • 10 red Asian shallots, finely sliced
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 hot chillies, seeds removed and chopped
  • ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 preserved lemon, rind only, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil

Herb salad

  • 10 shallots, sliced into rings
  • cornflour
  • olive oil for deep frying
  • 1 bunch chervil, leaves only
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves only
  • 3 stems mint, leaves only
  • ½ lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You'll need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead

Straining time: overnight

Chilling time: overnight

To make the green oil, put olive oil into a blender. Add the spinach and parsley and blend into a green puree. Strain overnight through a seive lined with a fine coffee filter.

To make the boulangere potatoes, preheat oven to 180ºC. Spray a deep baking tin with non-stick spray and line with non-stick baking paper.

Slice potatoes thinly and place a thin layer on the silicon paper. Add a little chicken stock, salt and pepper, then another layer of potato, a few knobs of butter, stock, salt and pepper. Repeat this process until all the potato is used. Cover with baking paper, wrap in foil and bake for 3 hours. 

Remove from oven, cool and place a second tray on top of the covered potato. Place a heavy weight in the second tray and refrigerate the trays overnight.

The following day, turn out and cut the potato into rectangles, about 10 x 5 cm each. (see Note)

To make the chermoula, mix ingredients in a blender until combined and refrigerate in a sealed container.

To make the herb salad. Dust shallots with cornflour and deep fry in some olive oil, quickly until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Place the herbs in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and garnish with the fried shallots. Season to taste.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 180ºC. Deep fry 4 of the potato rectangles in olive oil until golden and place on a baking tray. Place fish fillets on a separate baking tray and spoon over the chermoula.

Bake the potato and fish for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Place potato in the middle of a plate and place fish on top. Garnish with herb salad and drizzle with the green oil.


You will have some boulangere potato left over for another meal.