Eggplants have always been a difficult vegetable for me. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and stripes and are surrounded by dos and don'ts. But with enough delicious recipes under your belt, it's pretty easy to overlook the post-cooking appearance and realize that all those dos and don'ts are really more suggestions than hard-and-fast rules. This recipe, which combines small Italian eggplants cooked whole in olive oil along with harissa, chickpeas, and tomatoes, is one such preparation.
'harissa' on Serious Eats
Seared scallops top spicy quinoa that's mixed with ribbons of kale and crunchy pistachios for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Sangrita moves from lowly shooter to a full-fledged cocktail in this smoky, spicy and refreshing beer-based pitcher drink.
This one-pot dish of chickpeas in a spicy harissa sauce with a fried egg doesn't just have to be breakfast: It's delicious for any meal of the day. It comes together in less than 15 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal: easy, filling, and delicious.
Hearty and lively at once, harissa-flavored beef stew helps ease the transition from winter to spring.
A creamy carrot soup flavored with cumin, ginger, and spicy North African harissa paste, with a toasted almond and parsley garnish.
Quinoa, chickpeas, and shrimp are flavored with harissa and topped with crunchy cucumbers. Finished with some lemon and cilantro, it makes a quick and easy meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes, with minimal prep work to boot.
Spiced roasted carrots with crème fraîche and harissa.
Harissa provides an undercurrent of gentle heat, complemented by sauteed kale, diced Bosc pears, lemon juice and zest, and the aforementioned radishes for nice zip.
Grilled merguez on a toasted baguette with sweet caramelized onion, sharp Manchego cheese, fresh cilantro, and spicy harissa mayo makes for one insanely awesome sandwich.
Charred grilled corn with spicy harissa paste flavored with lime, garlic, cumin, and fresh mint.
Chunks of chicken and creamy Yukon Gold potatoes are stir fried with za'atar and spicy harissa.
A grilled cheese sandwich made with sharp white cheddar cheese is given new life with new flavors when studded with sun-dried tomatoes, and spread with spicy Harissa. And instead of using butter to brown and crisp this sandwich, brush the bread with the olive oil in which the sun-dried tomatoes are packed for an additional hit of tomato essence.
It's hard to get through fall without encountering more than a few roasted vegetable salads. They're earthy, filling, and entirely seasonal. In The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Deb Perelman writes about a few such salads, but the one that drew my eye was her Honey and Harissa Farro Salad. I'm a big harissa fan, and the idea of tempering its spiciness with honey sounded like a perfect dressing base. But what the title of the recipes leaves out is that over half of this salad is made up of roasted batons of carrots and parsnips-two of my favorite fall staples. And if you're lucky enough to live in a place with choices in your carrots, go for a rainbow of colors for a vibrant fall meal.
Kofte Kebabs are traditionally made with lamb, however, ground beef or pork can be substituted. Harissa is a Tunisian spice pasted made from piri-piri peppers. If you can't find it, any fresh chili sauce will do, such as sambal oelek.
This simple but special rare seared tuna is coated in ras-el-hanout and marinates for hours so the spices can really penetrate the outer flesh of the fish. Then it gets a quick sear, is sliced up and served with spicy harissa instead of wasabi, and lemon wedges instead of soy sauce. It's like my French Moroccan interpretation of tuna tataki.
Young, firm eggplants are the best for this dish. Cook them just till they char and become tender, any longer and they will turn mushy. After a few seconds, they will absorb all the oil in the pan; they will cook just fine without the need for more.
My original plan was ratatouille, one of my absolute favorite seasonal meals. I picked up eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and set about finding a recipe. The problem is, I'm already quite fond of this one and couldn't find another that excited me in the same way. Luckily, I came across a recipe that uses all of the above vegetables, then adds some chickpeas and bell peppers. How could that be bad?
There is something really satisfying about the one-pot meal. This happens to be true whether it's the depth of winter or the height of summer. One-pot meals don't have to be long simmering stews, or something that sticks to your ribs. This sausage and couscous recipe from Padma Lakshmi goes the Moroccan route, and it's perfect for this time of year.