We live in a wonderful world of spices herbs and seasonings, including green harissa; a North African condiment made of jalapeño peppers and spices.
This is one of my favorite sauces. Harissa, pronounced “ha-riss-ah”, a Moroccan condiment is actually from Tunisia and is basically a version of Sriracha with another layer of flavor created from herbs and spices.
You will always find a selection of hot sauces in my refrigerator. Each one has a different level of heat. Some are very pleasant and give that little kick, while others will give you tunnel vision and tears will run down your cheeks. Currently, I have a hot sauce in my refrigerator called “xxxextra chily habanero”, my recommendation is for you to stay away from this one.
There is a difference between “hot” and “spicy” food. Hot will burn and spicy will have a mellow pleasant heat that add tons of flavor. Spicy food has a perfect mild kick to it, so you can still enjoy all the flavors and ingredients in the dish.
If you’re a fan of mellow heat and great flavor, you need to try the green harissa recipe.
Once you’ve tasted it, you will be a fan. Whenever you want a little heat in your life, you will reach for the jar of harissa. There are plenty of high end store purchased harissas out there, however, making harissa at home gives you the chance to play with flavors and the level of heat.
Green harrisa is a serious condiment that I like to use as a sandwich spread, add to roasted vegetables, use as a rub for meats and fish, or I spoon it over scrambled eggs, rice and pasta to enhance flavor.
The heat can be varied according to the type of chili pepper used in the making of harissa. This recipe is using three de-seeded jalapeños and one jalapeño with seeds, creating a milder version. If you want a hotter version, use only jalapeños peppers with the seeds, I promise you will know the difference. If you want it even hotter, use serano chilies. They are about twice as hot as jalapeño peppers.
Experiment with peppers using different kinds, like a Serrano or try a Thai pepper, they are small in size but big in heat. Explore and see what kind of pepper you like.
Moroccan cooking is all about spices and flavor. That can be said about every cuisine; but at the end of the day it has more to do with what you do with the spices then anything else. It’s amazing what spices can do, if used right. A pinch of this, a pinch of that and you’ll discover it’s really all about a few ingredients that can make the difference in a great meal.
Green harissa is a mixture of healthy ingredients like jalapeños, garlic, olive oil and spices. Hot peppers are proven to have many health benefits. They contain a compound called capsaicin, which is thought to provide pain-relief and cancer-protective effects.
With the harissa, I created a Feta sandwich spread that adds a great flavor profile to any sandwich and can be used as a dip at the same time. Enjoy!