9 Ways to Use Harissa

Food & Wine: 9 Ways to Use Harissa
Cavatelli with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa Photo © Con Poulos
By Kristin Donnelly Posted April 17, 2014

Harissa is a fiery and garlicky North African spice paste that's traditionally served alongside bread, stews and couscous dishes. Recipes vary widely but it's usually made with spices including caraway, cumin and coriander, and sometimes herbs, like mint. It's easy enough to make your own, but jarred versions work equally well. Here are nine ways to use the spice paste.

1. Burgers. Mix harissa paste into the burger meat itself or blend it into ketchup or mayo for a zingy condiment.

2. Roasted vegetables. Harissa's heat is especially good with sweet vegetables like squash, carrots and fennel; toss the chopped vegetables with the paste before roasting.

3. Salad dressing. Add a spicy kick to salad by whisking harissa into a lemony dressing. It's delicious tossed with raw julienned carrots.

4. Rub. The spice paste becomes an instant rub for luxe cuts of meat like a crown roast of pork or a leg of lamb or more humble chicken legs.

5. Hummus. Mix it into store-bought hummus or make your own, like this one with carrots.

6. Yogurt. Whisk harissa into yogurt to make a hot-and-cold sauce for grilled meats, like lamb chops.

7. Pasta. Southern Italy is not so far from North Africa, so using it in pasta dishes isn't a huge stretch. Try it in a basic tomato sauce or with roasted broccoli rabe.

8. Chicken wings. Any spicy condiment always ends up on a chicken wing and harissa is no exception. Try these sticky wings made with harissa honey.

9. Eggs. More complex than Tabasco and even everyone's beloved Sriracha, harissa is insanely delicious on a breakfast sandwich.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: North African Recipes
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