Whether you already know you love the spicy, earthly flavors of a good harissa sauce or want to give it a try for the first time, this recipe will not disappoint. I use our Tomato Harissa Sauce recipe that we waterbath-can each year, making this quick and easy to prepare. If you have not pre-made our sauce and want to use your own red harissa paste (homemade or store-bought), I’ve included the substitutions in the recipe notes below. The small amount of honey adds a subtle sweetness to the harissa’s spiciness while the Preserved Lemon brings additional complexity to the sauce….
If you haven’t tried harissa by now, you are missing out – it’s just that good. With as many variations as there are regions in North Africa, this spicy paste is often thought of as the Mediterranean/ Middle East’s version of Asia’s sriracha sauce. It is used as a base to liven up flavor in curries and stews or as a condiment. Harissa’s complex blend of spicy chiles, garlic, spices, salt and olive oil is wickedly addictive, with a brazen red color that is enticing and seductive.
I started making two different variations of harissa sauce a couple years back. I make the more authentic sauce/ paste, made with chilis, spices and olive oil, year round, as it has a limited refrigerator life of about 3 weeks. This harissa sauce for canning has tomatoes added and no oil and has a shelf life of one year, when canned and stored properly. We grow quite a few tomatoes in our garden each year for canning salsas and tomato sauces. Since I make several meat dishes by combining harissa with stewed tomatoes, this canned version was a no-brainer for me. This sauce eliminates most of the prep work, making it perfect for weekday meals, without sacrificing flavor. Getting a home cooked meal on the table on those days when I’m really pressed for time or exhausted from a long day is a definite win-win….
I honestly feel pesto is as close to perfection as it gets. This simple green sauce that borders on divine can be used as a sauce or marinade for pasta, meats, vegetables and salads and its proportion of ingredients are fully customizable. That being said, this is my family’s favorite version, served traditionally, with pasta.
Each summer, we grow 3-4 huge pots of basil, which makes enough pesto to feed my family through the winter months. Freezing individual 1-2 ounce scoops of sauce, before vacuum sealing, keeps it fresh tasting and worthy of serving. Using the best quality ingredients will make the sauce that much better.
Ranking high on our culinary ‘love lists’, Chermoula and potato roti are both ‘go to’ recipes that make it to our dinner table on a regular basis, for both family meals and dinner parties. Used in many North African countries, this regionally diverse area has spawned numerous incarnations of this parsley, cumin and garlic based marinade. Traditionally a marinade for seafood, we prefer switching it up with chicken. Nearly foolproof, the beauty of this chermoula is that any fresh shrimp or chicken breast anointed with this marinade and properly grilled, renders a perfectly balanced, exquisitely flavored dish. Its amber color with flecks of green and red are a visual treat when served, each bite evoking a moment of silence, as the brain tries to identify each flavor as it’s released in the mouth. Yes, it’s that good!…