Broccoli rabe rarely makes it into the oven; most cooks saute or braise it instead. But roasting brings out its sweetness even more. Michael Natkin uses the smart technique for a fast pasta with cavatelli, smoked paprika and the Tunisian chile paste harissa.
This North African-inspired cassoulet is chef Gavin Kaysen's nod to all the different cultures in Minneapolis, where his restaurant, Spoon and Stable, is located. "I wanted to showcase new flavors, but in a familiar format," says Kaysen. "I like seeing another culture's view of comfort food."
Cookbook author Sarah DiGregorio adds depth and heat to her hearty white bean stew by adding harissa twice: first for the long simmer in the slow cooker, then at the end, to finish the dish with some bright heat.
Harissa-Roasted Carrots, Fennel and New Potatoes with Couscous
Harissa--the North African chile paste that gives this vegetarian dinner its heat--varies greatly from brand to brand. Taste it before you add the vegetables to the marinade, and add more if it strikes you as too tame. For a richer dish, make a fast sauce with mayonnaise whisked with harissa, lemon juice and water and drizzle it over the vegetables and couscous just before serving.
Harissa, a garlicky North African chile sauce, is usually served with couscous and stews. The homemade harissa featured here is supersimple to prepare, and any extra will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, but jarred versions available at specialty markets make a fine substitute.
For the regal—and expensive—pork crown roast, F&W Test Kitchen Associate Melissa Rubel Jacobson replaced the run-of-the-mill garlic-herb coating with a smoky harissa version. "I love the way it turns from a paste to a crispy crust," she says.
You may never want to buy harissa again once you've tried this amazing condiment from Seattle chef Renee Erickson. She loves to serve it spread on toast with grilled or canned sardines and with roast chicken; we loved it with grilled eggplant and zucchini, on eggs and slathered on sandwiches.