Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan

Harissa

Harissa

Mmmmm . . . Spicy chili goodness!!

Harissa is a spiced chili paste originally from Tunisia, but its use has spread to other North African and Middle Eastern countries . The main ingredients are hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some kind of vegetable or olive oil.  Recipes for harissa vary according to region and country; variations can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. In Saharan regions, they add a smokey flavor to harissa.

I needed a harissa paste to use in my Day 23- Harissa Ravioli post, and a friend suggested that I try making my own. Brilliant idea!! After a bit of research I found a recipe on the Food52 blog site, that seemed to be easy enough, use ingredients I mostly already had around the house, and was open to my own interpretation. You are supposed to let the harissa paste sit for over 24 hours before using, but since I needed it for a particular recipe I could not wait. My version of harissa worked perfectly in the dish, and I cannot wait to taste the intensity of the flavors 24 hours from now.

Harissa

MAKES: approx. 1 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 red jalapeno or serrano chiles, stemmed, chopped with seeds (the more you add, the hotter the harissa)
  • 2 large or 3 medium red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped (I actually used jarred roasted red peppers and it worked just as good)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Toast cumin, coriander and caraway seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic, 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar with pestle, and grind seeds to a fine powder.

Combine ground seeds, garlic, smoked paprika, chiles, red peppers and 1 tablespoon olive oil in bowl of food processor. Process, adding additional olive oil if necessary, for a thick sauce-like consistency. Add ground pepper and salt.

Let harissa sit at least one hour and up to 24 hours before serving. (Refrigerate until use.)

ENJOY!!

Advertisements
Standard
100 Days Project, Mains, Side Dish

Day 23 – Harissa Raviloi

Day23

It was a bright sunny Winter’s day here in Auckland . . . my favorite kind of day!!

Blue skies and sunshine, with a slight chill in the air, always makes me want to go to the markets. I was looking through a couple of my Heidi Swanson cookbooks over coffee this morning, and this recipe for Harissa Ravioli caught my eye.  After coffee I headed to the La Cigale French Market, which is pretty much my favorite Auckland Central market destination. The stalls have such a delicious range of foodie treats, hot coffee, well priced vegetables, and yummy baked goods. Today, there happened to be someone selling fresh ravioli, and I figured something in the universe was telling me to make this recipe.  I purchased the spinach ravioli, which I thought should go well with the harissa and broccoli flavors, but in hind sight the pumpkin ravioli probably would have done the trick just as well.

The main flavor component of the sauce is harissa, a spiced chili paste originally from Tunisia. You can usually find this as a pre-made condiment in middle eastern or high-end food stores, but I decided to make my own; click here for the recipe. Supposedly you need to leave it for 24 hours to reach full flavor, but I used it right away and it still tasted great, I can only imagine with delight how much more flavor it will have later on.

This recipe came out quite tasty . . .  The flavor combination of harissa, lemon, good quality olive oil, toasted seeds and feta made a delicious sauce for the ravioli and was a great way to spice up the broccoli.  I am not an olive person, so I left that ingredient off, but to each their own. I suspect broccoli with this same harissa oil and toppings would make an excellent side dish on its own right. This theory may have to be tested later on this week.

Harissa Ravioli

by: Heidi Swanson

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces or 340g fresh or frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini
  • 8 ounces or 225g broccoli florets or broccolini, trimmed into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sliced almonds, or pine nuts (I used a combination of all three), toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 5 or 6 black oil cured olives, pitted and torn into pieces

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In the meantime, make the harissa oil. Sprinkle the smashed garlic clove with the salt and chop into a paste. Put this aside in a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and good quality olive oil. Taste and add more salt if needed.

When the water boils, salt it generously and add the ravioli cooking them until they float and are cooked through (about 1 to 2 minutes). around 30 seconds before you think the ravioli will be done add the broccoli to the pot, boil for the remaining time, and then drain into a colander.

Place the ravioli and broccoli into a large mixing bowl and toss with a couple spoonfuls of the harissa oil and most of the pepitas/almonds/pine nuts. Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Turn out onto a serving platter or plates and top with more harissa oil and the remaining pepitas/almonds/pine nuts, the feta, and olives.

ENJOY!!

Standard