Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Harissa -- en tube!

Harissa (pronounced huh-REE-suh) is a Tunisian chile paste often used as a meat rub or a condiment. It's smoky, slightly sweet and spicy flavor adds punch to Tunisian couscous, fish dishes, or in soups or stews. Recipes vary, but it often includes smoked chili peppers, coriander, garlic, cumin, and sometimes tomatos.

Usually, you find it sold in small cans. I hate this because I often only need a tablespoon or less, and the rest of it often goes bad in the fridge before I can use it. So I was delighted to find Harissa -- en tube! (as the box proudly proclaims) at Nicole's Gourmet Foods in South Pasadena (you can also find it online). This toothpaste-tube-like container has a tight screw top and I imagine it can last in your fridge for months.

I haven't experimented nearly enough with this fragrant paste, but I like the following harissa vinaigrette over wilted spinach with Moroccan Spiced Salmon. If you have other ideas/favorite dishes, send them my way!

Harissa Vinaigrette

1 tbsp. harissa
1 tbsp. sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk the harissa, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper together in small bowl. Slowly stir in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, whisking all the while so the mixture emulsifies.


yoony said...


i've made harissa at home using Suzanne Goin's recipe. i made crostinis with smashed cannellini bean and topped that with a little dab of harissa. also aoc serves it with slices of bread. i like your idea to use it in a vinaigrette!

connie said...

weird... so you know when you see a word you've never seen before and then the next day you see it again. So yesterday I got a Foods of the Mediterranean cookbook and it mentioned harissa and I had to look it up, and here you are with harissa today. I swear, if I see harissa randomly somewhere else tomorrow I'll be convinced that I live in a Turman show-like experience.

maybe your recipe will be a good way for me to actually try the stuff!

Erin S. said...

Thanks for the reminder Yoony--I should check out the recipe and make my own.

Connie, how is that cookbook? I've been wanting one that focuses on that region...

Esmond said...

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Wenda said...

Really useful information, thanks for the post.

Richard Lassalle said...

Hey Erin have you tried Entube's new Harissa paste in a tube? Harissa reinvented