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Posts Tagged ‘Homemade Harissa’

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota!  And by Spring, I mean it officially reached 80 degrees here yesterday.  Last night we grilled for the first time this season, and it was wonderful.  My husband is one of those guys that would be happy eating cereal for dinner several nights a week if I let him, yet he considers the grilling of a steak a sacred process.  He’s a master, and the New York strip that he grilled-up last night was heavenly.  I mean this now, I’d put it up against any fancy restaurant’s offering.  Anyway, I know we’ll be doing a lot more grilling now that the weather has turned, so I came up with this carrot salad that is a fantastic side dish.  It’s also perfect if you’re in the mood for a light lunch.

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

It seems as though carrots are often just an afterthought in most dishes.  Need a little color in some soup, throw a carrot in!  (Well, except in this soup– one of my favorites– where they’re the star.)  I happen to love carrots.  They have that nice slightly-sweet flavor, a wonderful crunch, and amazing longevity.  In this salad they take center stage.  The flavors are bright, yet there is a nice, complex, smokiness to give it depth.  Remember a couple of weeks ago when I made that homemade Harissa?  It is brilliant combined with these ingredients.  The ricotta salata cheese lends a bit of saltiness to this dish.  If you can’t find ricotta salata, feta is a good substitute.  Personally, I prefer ricotta salata for most salads, because its subtlety allows the other flavors to be more pronounced.  And the creaminess is a welcome addition to most any salad.  The cilantro and lime add that little zing of acidity that compliments the harissa and carrots wonderfully.  If your Harissa is a little on the thick side, feel free to thin it out with a few drops of water or olive oil.  Don’t overdo it though, since there is a squeeze of lime juice at the end that loosens everything up.

Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Simple Carrot Salad with Harissa and Cilantro

(serves 1)

2 carrots, peeled, then thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler

1/2 cup long ribbons of red cabbage

handful of cilantro

1 tablespoon Homemade Harissa or store bought

lime wedges

2 tablespoons of crumbled ricotta salata cheese

sea salt, to taste

This is more of an idea, than a recipe.  Make as much or as little as you want.  This amount will serve one beautifully.  Cut the carrot anyway that you want, though I prefer long beautiful ribbons made by using a vegetable peeler.  They’re just so pretty that way!  Toss all of the ingredients, except the ricotta salata and lime into a large bowl.  Using tongs, gently incorporate the Harissa onto the vegetables.  Add more if you like.  If your Harissa is a bit on the thick side, add a bit of water or olive oil to thin it out.  Plate your salad and top with crumbled ricotta salata cheese and a couple squeezes of lime juice.  Add a sprinkle of salt, if necessary.  Enjoy!

Have a lovely week and thanks for stopping by Relishing it!

xo

Laurie

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Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

If you’ve spent much time reading food blogs or magazines, you probably know what harissa is, but for those of you that don’t (Hi Dad!), let me fill you in.  Harissa is a North African condiment made mostly from peppers and spices.  And it is amazing.  Like a punch-of-flavor-to-your-tongue amazing.  It’s often found on Moroccan tagines, but I’ve found so many more day-to-day uses for it.  I love to slather it on sandwiches.  Try it on this meatloaf with a bit of mayonnaise and some hot peppers.  Heavenly.  It’s also fantastic on an egg sandwich where the yolk is still a bit oozy.  Crunchy salads, or paired with carrots– harissa transforms an ordinary meal into something divine.

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

Lemon for Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

If you’ve been visiting Relishing It for awhile, or taken a stroll through the ‘menu’ section, you know that I love to make my own condiments.  It’s not difficult, and to be honest, they just taste better than those bottled versions that are mass manufactured and sit on the shelf for months.  This mustard, ketchup, and red curry paste are a few of my favorites.  Harissa isn’t quite so common, but there really are a ton of recipes out there, and they are all a bit different.  Some use tomatoes, some don’t.  Some use fresh herbs, others stick with dried spices.  For this harissa, I was looking for something a bit smokey, but not too spicey.  I also wanted it to have a fresh, herb flavor.  If you want more of a kick, you can simply add more cayenne pepper or choose a hotter variety of dried peppers for the base.  One nice thing about this recipe is that you can easily manipulate it to suit your own tastes.  For my  part, I think this one turned out perfectly, so I won’t be changing a thing.  Top your Harissa with a bit of olive oil to store in the refrigerator for an extended period of time, it should last a few months this way.  But…it won’t.  You’ll eat it up in no time.  It’s that good.  Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

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The Recipe:  Homemade Harissa

(Makes about 1 cup)

5 dried Ancho chile peppers

5 dried Guajillo chile peppers

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground with a mortar and pestle (or use the flat side of a large knife to smash them)

1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground with a mortar and pestle

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

pinch of ground cayenne pepper, more to taste

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar (white or red wine vinegar will also work)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

sea salt, cracked black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons soaking liquid, or more, if needed

Place the dried peppers into a medium sized bowl.  Pour enough boiling water over them so they are covered.  Place a small plate on top of them to keep them submerged.  Cover the entire bowl with another larger plate, to keep the heat in.  Let sit for 1 hour.

When the peppers are soft, begin by reserving some of the soaking liquid.  Remove the peppers from the water.  Remove the stem and carefully dump out the seeds.  Place the peppers and the remaining ingredients into a food processor.  Process for a few minutes until completely smooth.  Taste.  Adjust seasonings and thickness, if necessary.  Store in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator.  Cover with a layer of olive oil, if intending to keep for an extended period of time (several months).  I don’t cover mine with olive oil, but I generally use it within a few weeks.  Enjoy the heck out of this!

Thanks for stopping by today, friends! xo

Laurie

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