You know that one friend who inspires you to reinvigorate your wardrobe? They make a colorful, printed head-to-toe pantsuit seem chic, but effortless enough for everyday life? They can wear an all-black ensemble, but it somehow doesn’t seem too dark on them? Well, harissa paste is that one friend for me in the kitchen. It’s bold, it’s spicy, but it’s warm and can uplift anything else around it, if treated correctly.
Harissa is a North African paste that can be complex, varying by recipe and region. At its core though, it consists of chilies, garlic, salt, and oil (the one featured in this recipe is actually a Wisconsin-based chili farm product that uses dried chilies vs. fresh and cumin vs. garlic).
It’s used as a condiment or base for curries, stews, and other dishes. It also falls within one of my tools to make nutritious food quickly with big flavors: spices. Using spices can help impart flavor without relying solely on salt. I still use salt but can use less of it while also opening up the potential to use different combinations of spices and flavors at the same time. It also contains vitamins B6 and C from its chilies and monounsaturated fats from its olive oil, which support a healthy immune system, metabolism, and lowers our LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing our HDL or “good” cholesterol. Just being bold left and right, okay harissa.
This harissa-roasted recipe is my go-to for a quick, yet flavorful dinner and its ingredients (other than harissa of course) can easily be swapped and exchanged for almost anything you need to get rid of in the fridge. You won’t be disappointed with the warm cumin spice paired with the creaminess of the vegetables and the crispness of the chickpeas. If you want to make your own harissa, check out this blog post for a homemade recipe.
Harissa-Roasted Potatoes and Chickpeas
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
1 lb. small potatoes, washed
5 carrots, washed
1 onion, peeled
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 16-oz. cans chickpeas, low-sodium if you can find them, opened and drained
1 tbsp. harissa paste (amount will vary depending on the spice level of your paste)
3-4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 -1 tsp. salt (amount will vary depending on if your paste already contains salt)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
2. Rinse chickpeas, if desired, to have more control over the total salt content of the dish.
3. Cut carrots, onions and potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
Tip: I used a roll or oblique cut here to get the carrots to cook faster (more surface area) and for all the pieces to cook at the same rate.
4. Mix harissa paste with olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Important: this is going to heavily depend on the specific harissa you have. Taste and adjust to your taste buds (your mixture may not follow the recipe amounts exactly, so trust your gut and preference for spice and salt levels).
5. Mix harissa mixture with vegetables, garlic cloves and chickpeas and spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until vegetables are golden crispy and cooked through.
Note: Chicken, tomatoes, or cauliflower would be delicious in this recipe as well!
Our Seafood on the Grill class this weekend features harissa paired with fennel and scallops. That class is already sold out, but join us for Hands-On Seafood Cookery on Saturday, June 25 at 10am at Lincoln Square, and you'll learn how to make Grilled Salmon with Chermoula, which is another Middle Eastern/Northern African sauce/condiment. You'll also make:
- Snapper a la Veracruzana (Snapper Braised with Peppers, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers)
- Sautéed Skate Wing with Brown Butter-Caper Sauce