Over the last two decades, harissa, like preserved lemons, has become known largely through Moroccan recipes. Jars or tubes of harissa can be found but they tend to have a ‘mass produced’ texture and flavour, and thus they are often somewhat less satisfying than homemade versions.
The key ingredients to harissa are chillies – hot red ones – and garlic. From there, the door to variations is wide open. Our preferred version uses a bunch of coriander and provides an extremely hot, garlicky sauce that is very more-ish, even addictive, but should be used sparingly because of its spiciness.
You could experiment with a mixture of red and green chillies or make a similar type of sauce out of jalapenos. Or try different herbs, such as parsley or basil.
You do need to use protective gloves when deseeding the chillies as you are working with a large volume. And when you serve it, warn your guests not to take too much!
Harissa’s versatility goes way beyond North African dishes: we love it on our eggs at breakfast. A link to our preferred method follows.
For the recipe, click here: Harissa
If you have any preserve-like items you regularly make, we are happy to hear about them, including the ingredients and why they are worth doing.