Asparagus and Carrots in Charmoula Sauce

According to Fine Cooking, Charmoula is a sort of North African pesto.  This recipe is inspired by theirs for Green Beans and Carrots in Charmoula Sauce, but I don’t like green beans too much and I do like asparagus!  I haven’t made this yet, but I will be making it for Thanksgiving.  And by Thanksgiving I mean the Tuesday before since I have to work on Thanksgiving, but will be off the Tuesday and Wednesday before.

Asparagus and Carrots in Charmoula Sauce


  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 ounces fresh cilantro (about 2 cups)
  • 1 ounce fresh parsley (about 1 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • 1/2 ground cumin
  • salt
  • 2 pounds slender asparagus stalks, trimmed
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into thin 4-inch-long sticks
  • freshly ground black pepper


Make the Charmoula:  Use a food processor to chop the garlic.  Add in the cilantro and the parsley and pulse until they are coarsely chopped.  Add in the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika of your choice, cumin, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Pulse to combine, taste, and season with additional salt if needed.

Prepare a large pot with a steamer insert to steam your vegetables.  Bring an inch of water to a boil over high heat.  Steam the asparagus until tender, about 4 to 7 minutes depending on size.  Transfer asparagus to an ice water bath to stop the cooking, drain well and place in a large serving bowl.

Add the carrots to the steamer and cook them until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer them to the bowl with the asparagus.

Toss the vegetables with about 3/4 of the Charmoula sauce.  Season to taste with additional sauce, salt and pepper.

NOTE:  The Charmoula sauce can be made a day ahead and stored, refrigerated, in an air-tight container.  Bring to room temperature before tossing with your hot vegetables.


Serves 10 to 12.