Friday, July 22, 2011

Homemade Harissa

I’m obsessed with pinterest.  I especially love it as a place to collect delicious looking food photos, complete with links back to the recipes so you can make them at a later date.  I like it for home d├ęcor, fashion, and collecting cute pictures in general, but that’s beside the point.  In fact, to get to my point…I’ve been seeing harissa all over the place on Pinterest.  It’s a spicy, garlicky, north African condiment.  Sign me up!
harissa 1
I used a recipe for Garlic Scape Harissa from Tigress in a Pickle as my inspiration, but then delayed using my CSA garlic scapes for so long that I just had to revert back to regular garlic. 
harissa 2
The ingredients are dried adobo chilis, sundried tomatoes, olive oil garlic, coriander, and caraway. Dulcie confessed that caraway is her MOST HATED TASTE in the world, but the other flavors in this harissa are so strong that she managed to not choke when she tasted it. In fact, I am pretty sure she liked it. {dulcie's comment: This is true! I forgot entirely that caraway seed was even an ingredient!}

harissa 3
There are as many ways to use harissa as there are ways to use hot sauce.  I tried it out with toasted pita bread, butter, and hard boiled eggs first.  It was so good.  A northern African take on eggs with toast?  Or maybe just a made up concoction in my own Colorado-based head.  Either way – I highly recommend it.
harissa 5


  • 6 dried adobo chilis
  • 4 smallish sun-dried tomato halves (not packed in oil)
  • 4 big cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (approx)
Soak the dried chilis and tomato in warm water for 10 minutes until softened.
Attempt to grind the caraway seed with a mortar and pestle.  I didn’t have much success so just kind of gave up, so I deem this an uncritical step.
Add everything but the olive oil to your food processor.  Use the small insert-bowl if you have one; the final quantity is only about 1/3 cup.  Start your food processor running, stopping to scrape down the sides periodically.  When things are looking finely chopped, start drizzling in the olive oil while the food processor runs.
Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a month.
harissa 4


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