I love condiments, particularly spicy condiments, so I’m wondering why it took so long for harissa and I to meet. Harissa is from North Africa and I’m from North America but since when, in 2013, does geography throw a wrench in our eating plans? While I’m all for local bounty, I also love coconut water, matcha and Himalayan salt. So it was probably just bad luck that harissa and I hadn’t crossed paths.
My first harissa spotting was at Le Pain Quotidien. I enjoyed what I tasted but their harissa is very thick, almost a paste. I was intrigued and ordered harissa from one of my favorite sites mouth.com.This was the Mina brand harrissa and I have to say I fell in love. I’ve since learned this harissa is widely available even sold at West Elm (a desk and some condiments anyone? weird).
I dipped veggies in harissa, added it to scrambled eggs, folded some into my sardine/avocado combo and used it on grilled chicken breasts. For every ingredient I tested harissa on, it passed with flying colors. I want to try this recipe for salmon, kale and harissa next.

As much as I love to cook, I’m not someone who feels you have to DIY for everything if someone else can make it better. I’d cop to laziness but it’s really, without getting too deep, about insecurity. Can mine be as good? With Harissa, I didn’t think so but because of this blog post I decided to try. I used this recipe.
On a 100-degree day I cranked up my oven to 500
Roasted my peppers
Diced my chilies (not the Thai chilies the recipe called for but long green hot peppers). Remember the chili pepper/metabolism connection?  I also used ground coriander versus seeds (it’s all I had).
blurry, spicy chilies and garlic
 Combined everything in the Vitamix (recipe says to do in 2 stages but needed the volume for Vitamix to work).  I spooned the blended harissa into a weck jar,  refrigerated it as directed and you know what? Just as good as Mina’s.
Have you already met harissa? Do you make it yourself? What do you use it for? What’s your current favorite condiment?

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