Friday, March 22, 2013

Green Harissa

Green Harissa 4

I really wanted to call this post Glorious, Gorgeous, Green Gloop, because that really kind of describes this sauce perfectly.

As a food blogger, I know that a much talked about subject is that of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in order to maximise the number of page views you get.  However, I've never really bought into that - it's not why I blog, and it's not the way I write.

That said, this glorious, gorgeous, green gloop is indeed so glorious and gorgeous that I do want people to find it, and as I have grave doubts about anybody actually searching for a recipe for "glorious, gorgeous, green, gloop", I figured I should just title this post by it's name - not quite as interesting, but better that than having anybody miss out on this by virtue of a quirky title.

I was initially inspired down this path after I saw this post a couple of weeks ago by the lovely Joanne at Eats Well With Others for Spice-Roasted Squash with Walnut-Green Harissa.  A few days later, I noticed the equally lovely Mairi at Toast talking about Ottolenghi's Fettucine with Fresh Seafood & a Green Harissa Dressing.  Hmmm, something of a trend here, I wondered?

I am a big lover of harissa, as you may have already gathered from my post earlier in the week, and when some nice green chilli peppers (only mildly spicy) showed up at my local market last weekend, I decided to investigate further.

I turned once again to Moro East by Sam and Sam Clark, and found their recipe for Mojo Verde.  This seemed like a good starting point, though I digressed considerably from the original recipe.

The final, delectable sauce has a very scant amount of heat, though you could definitely make it hotter if that is your bent, and bright complex flavours from the combination of herbs and spices, and is balanced out with some sweet, salty, sour notes from the preserved lemon.  You could definitely use this in a myriad ways - I'm thinking it would be great dolloped into a burger, stirred into any Moroccan-inspired dish as an alternative to regular harissa, blended into a dressing, or served alongside grilled seafood.  No matter how you use it, I urge you to give this a try.  It will keep for up to a week in the fridge, or freezes well.  I divide it up into small quantities (a couple of heaped tablespoons) and freeze in snaplock bags.

Green Harissa Recipe
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

4x large green mild chillies
(feel free to add some hot ones if you want more heat)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
generous bunch fresh coriander (about 60g), roughly chopped
bunch flat leaf parsley (about 30g), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/4 preserved lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
flaky sea salt

Roast chillies over an open flame (the barbeque is ideal), or in a hot oven, until skins are blackened and blistered.  Remove from heat and put in a plastic bag;  leave to cool completely.

Green Harissa Collage 1

Once cooled, remove chillies and peppers from the plastic bag and peel off the blackened skins - they will slip off easily.  Remove and discard seeds, roughly chop and put into a food processor.

Add garlic, coriander, parsley, cumin, oregano, and vinegar to the food processor.  Flick any seeds out of the preserved lemon (don't discard the flesh), rinse to remove any excess salt, and put the flesh and the skin into the food processor.

Green Harissa Collage 2

Blitz until you have a smooth paste.  Taste and add flaky sea salt if desired - the preserved lemon is salty so you may find it unnecessary to add any extra salt.

Green Harissa 3


  1. Sue this looks delicious! So versatile.

    1. Thanks - it is very delicious, and definitely very versatile. I just had to buy more chillies at the market today to make some more. I know I am especially going to enjoy this during the winter when green herby things are pretty thin on the ground.

  2. Looks amazing, Sue. I think your elected title is more apt. I can see this ending up in the middle of some fish dish somewhere.

  3. Sue- This does look lovely! This is a sure way to introduce lots of flavor to nearly anything. I bet it would be good on anything from eggs, to veggies, to chicken or fish. Yum!

    1. Thanks, Kim - yes, this is great with so many things. Hadn't actually thought of eggs, but would be great with them too.

  4. What a glorious gorgeous green gloop Sue :) I am loving your preserves and sauces at the moment. Thanks for sharing. Nicola x

  5. Such a pretty color and I am glad to know it isn't too hot. I am somewhat wimpy so I like the fact that it isn't too spicy.

    1. Thanks, Deb. I actually don't mind a bit of heat, but it's not always what you want. Nice to have something sometimes which has good flavours without the heat.


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