Home cooks are putting harissa on everything right now. I’m seeing this Moroccan spice mix rubbed on lamb and stirred into hummus, sprinkled on pasta or whisked into salad dressing.
Whether in the form of a paste or a dried spice mix, harissa usually contains hot chili peppers (regular or smoked), garlic, cumin, coriander and caraway. Some cooks include cinnamon, mint or ginger to add further complexity to the flavor.
Grain bowls are one way Lindsay Cotter enjoys harissa. In this recipe from her book, “Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day” (Page Street Publishing, $21.99), which is all about those healthy one-bowl meals that include vegetables, protein and often a whole grain or starch, she tosses chickpeas, broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil and harissa. Because she is roasting them before adding to the bed of lentils and greens, she uses a dried harissa spice mix instead of a wet paste.
The pureed paste version of harissa can be used as a flatbread or sandwich spread, a dipping sauce or an addition to hummus or guacamole. In this month’s issue, Allrecipes Magazine featured a recipe for Chef John’s Harissa Sauce, a fresh harissa that starts with a fresh Fresno chili, one habanero and a roasted bell pepper, as well as whole caraway and coriander seeds. You can find that in this month’s issue or at armagazine.com/chef-johns-harissa-sauce.
Moroccan Roasted Veggie Power Bowls
For a vegan option to this bowl, omit the cheese. For added protein, toss chopped hard-boiled egg, chicken or salmon on each bowl to boost protein content and make it a main meal. If you don’t have harissa seasoning, you can make your own. Mix together 1 tablespoon of hot paprika combined with 1/4 teaspoon each of caraway seeds, cumin, garlic powder, pepper, sea salt, cinnamon and ginger.
— Lindsay Cotter
8 ounces broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
8 ounces cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
1/3 cup olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons harissa dry spice seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
For the bowls:
2 cups chopped leafy greens
2 cups cooked black or green lentils
1 chopped green onion (or 1/4 cup chopped red onion)
2/3 cup sliced radish
For the toppings:
2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
Crushed red pepper flakes
Garlic salt or garlic powder, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or coat with cooking spray.
To make the roasted veggies, toss the broccoli, cauliflower and chickpeas with the olive oil, harissa, garlic, salt and pepper. Layer on the baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
For the bowls, layer equal amounts of the leafy greens, followed by the lentils, green or red onion, radishes and roasted veggies in each. Top each bowl with the sliced lemon, goat cheese, cilantro, red pepper flakes and garlic salt. Drizzle each bowl with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of lemon. Serves 3 to 4.
— From “Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day” by Lindsay Cotter (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)