Spicy Harissa
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1½ cups
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (I happened to have whole ones and used them, but ground caraway seeds are fine, too)
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 red chile peppers (I used habanero peppers, because I like a lot of heat; if you like it less spicy, use red jalapeno or Serrano peppers)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  1. Begin by blackening your red bell peppers. Preheat your broiler. Cut off the tops and bottoms, then slice them in half. Remove any of the white pith from the inside of the peppers, then place them, insides facing down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil your peppers until the skin has mostly blackened, about 5 minutes or so, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool enough to handle.
  2. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, go ahead and peel the skins away from the peppers (they should come off relatively easily). Give the peppers a rough chop and add them to your food processor.
  3. Now, quickly toast your spices. Place your salt, cumin, coriander, caraway, and black pepper in a dry pan and toast over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and add to your food processor with your bell peppers. Now you can also add in your minced chile peppers, minced garlic, and olive oil. Pulse until the sauce is a smooth puree, taste, and add more seasonings as desired. This will keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week, or can be served immediately with a few fresh cilantro leaves on top as garnish. Serve alongside your favorite vegetables, proteins, or even as a salsa with pita or tortilla chips.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2012/01/14/spicy-harissa/