New obsession alert!
In 2015, harissa was predicted to be the condiment. (One source ever said it would surpass ketchup. Puh-lease.) I’m not sure if harissa really caught on the way it way it was predicted to, but now that we are firmly in 2016 (and honestly, closer to 2017 than most of us are ready to admit), it is starting to pop up a little bit more. I’ve noticed the cheery red paste more and more on restaurant menus, in grocery stores, and now I’ve even been seeing fancy tubs of harissa priced at $9 right alongside the heirloom hummus at farmer’s markets and co-ops. (Seriously. $9! Ugh.)
I’ve noticed that homemade harissa is naturally paleo, and real food based since there are no grains, dairy, added sugars, gluten, wheat, or corn. (However, if you’re buying store-bought, make sure to read the label carefully.) Harissa also has its origins in North Africa, which means that it brings in some flavors not typical for us North Americans.
I have been putting this on everything from meats to salads to soups for an extra kick and tang. I have been making a double or triple batch, which means that I have a ton sitting in the fridge. It is also very helpful that this recipe is super easy to make, and takes all of 5 minutes.
Some cook’s notes:
- If you want extra spice, leave in some of the seeds of your chile peppers. For less spice, reduce the amount of chiles.
Makes ½ cup
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 2/3 cup chopped red onion
- 3 hot fresh red chiles, seeded and chopped*
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground caraway
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.