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Grilled Shrimp with Green Harissa

This delicious version of harissa, a spicy North African chile paste, is made with cilantro and spinach that acts as both the marinade and the dipping sauce.

Slideshow: Grilled Shrimp

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 1/2 cups tightly packed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails left on


  1. Soak ten 8-inch bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cilantro, spinach, garlic, serrano, olive oil, cumin, coriander and lime juice in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth; if necessary, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the harissa is slightly thinner than pesto. Season with salt.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with 1/4 cup of the harissa. Transfer the remaining harissa to a small bowl.
  4. Thread 2 or 3 shrimp onto each skewer. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Serve the shrimp with the remaining harissa.


One Serving: 227 cal, 13.7 gm fat, 1.9 gm sat fat, 6.1 gm carb, 2.1 gm fiber, 23.1 gm protein; low sugar; high in vitamin A and C; gluten- and dairy-free. Tips: To make this into a main course, serve the skewers over coconut-cashew rice and Moroccan carrots. The harissa sauce is a great condiment for grilled fish, chicken or flank steak. Use it as a marinade, as in this recipe, or simply serve it on the side.

Contributed By Photo © Phoebe Lapine

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