Roasted Red Pepper Harissa
Bringing your summer garden to the winter table, A Series.
I love all North African flavors and Harissa is one of my favorite Condiment/sauces I discovered in Morocco but I found that it tended to be a bit too spicy for some of my friends and customers. After spending some time tinkering with the recipe to make it a bit milder I found that adding roasted red pepper did the trick. It just so happens that during the Fall season, many of us with gardens find ourselves with access to a lot of red peppers and adding them to a Harissa recipe to softens the bite without compromising the flavor. This recipe is also a great way to make sure the peppers don’t go to waste and preserve the last of the peppers from your garden, farmers’ market or CSA well into early winter. I specifically call this sauce “roasted red pepper Harissa” because it’s not a traditional Harissa. However you’ll enjoy this Harissa on anything from grilled meat and vegetables to pasta with seafood or on crostini. It is versatile and delicious!
Makes about 1.5 cups
2 roasted, peeled and deveined red peppers (organic canned ok)
1 tablespoon of Siracha
2 rehydrated Chile Anchos
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
Put chiles into a bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain chiles and remove all stems and seeds but if your harissa very spicy, include seeds.
Heat coriander seeds and cumin in an small skillet over medium heat. Toast spices until fragrant and just starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes tops.
Place chiles and roasted peppers in a food processor or blender with the spices, the Siracha, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Purée until the paste is very smooth. To store, place in glass jars with a thin layer of oil and it will keep for up to a month.