Thick, lusciously red, and rather addicting…harissa is one of my favorite condiments to have on hand. Harissa is a humble North African chile paste prepared using a blend of dried chiles, garlic, oil, and fragrant spices, along with a few other ingredients. Having travelled to Morocco long ago, my memory is that each restaurant definitely had their very own recipe - just as I would imagine each household too as well. Chiles of all varieties have been cultivated for thousands of years in Mexico, and it is believed by food scholars that they made their way to North Africa via the Spanish colonizers. Perhaps that is why I love the flavors of harissa so much – chiles run through my New Mexican veins.
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 New Mexican chiles, stemmed, seeded, and softened in hot water, then drained
2 Guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and softened in hot water, then drained
1 sundried tomato in olive oil
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ C. olive oil
juice of one lemon
In a small sauce pan, gently warm olive oil, then add minced garlic. Stir just a minute or so, until garlic is fragrant, being careful not to brown the garlic. Take sauce pan off the heat to cool slightly.
Using a food processor, combine the chiles, tomato, salt, coriander, cumin, lemon juice, and garlic infused oil. Pulse until the mixture is spreadable.
*This recipe was featured in my Meet + Eat with Misty Mahela. We ate our harissa with soft, whole wheat flatbread, goat cheese, and Moroccan olives. Delicious!