Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Harissa

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I’ve always been intrigued by harissa, the spicy sweet pepper paste used throughout Mediterranean cooking. I’ve used pre-packaged harissa paste in recipes, but never had the opportunity to make my own from scratch. Finding myself with a bit of treasured down time in the kitchen this weekend, I decided to finally try my hand at making harissa. I consulted recipes from various cookbooks and blogs, one just slightly differernt from the next. I landed on this creation of my own, which I think turned out pretty swell. Reconstituting and cleaning the dried peppers was a bit labor intensive, but well worth the work. I also think I might roast the garlic next time instead of adding it raw, just to mellow out the taste a bit and allow the peppers to be the most pronounced flavor. I served this harissa on melba toasts as a starter, though I’m planning to use more of it in a vegetable tagine I’ll cook later this week. I bet it would also be amazing as a condiment for a chicken dish. Some say that harissa is the Eastern Mediterranean equivalent of ketchup, but I think it’s so much more.  –jacque

Ingredients

8 dried chili peppers, rehydrated, skinned, and seeded

2 sweet red peppers

5 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon dried mint

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Soak the dried chili peppers in hot water for 10-15 minutes to bring them back to plumpness. Once the chili peppers are ready, remove their stems and rinse away their seeds. I found that the easiest way to remove the skins was to place the pepper skin side down on the cutting board and scrape away the good stuff.

2. Add peppers, dried and fresh, to the food processor, along with garlic and olive oil. Pulse until well mixed.

3. Toast the spices and herbs in a dry saute pan on the stove top. This will enhance their flavors.

4. Add spices into the pepper blend and voila!

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One comment on “Mezze: Harissa

  1. Pingback: Cumin | Our Five Favorite Recipes | Mezze & Dolce

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Information

This entry was posted on October 15, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Mezze and tagged , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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