Spicy Carrots with Harissa
Have you ever used harissa in your cooking? It’s a Northern African (Tunisia, Morocco) spicy condiment or spice blend that migrated to neighbouring middle east countries and has become an integral part of middle east cuisine. There are various ways of making it and the basic ingredients are chili peppers, garlic, coriander, cumin, carraway, sometimes cinnamon and maybe even fennel and lemon. You would need to add olive oil to make it into a paste. William Sonoma sells Harissa in powder form and that’s the product I used in this recipe. Harissa, with its spicy-lemony notes, can be used to flavour many vegetables and grains. It pairs particularly well with the natural sweetness of the steamed carrots.
1 lb young garden carrots, orange and yellow if you have them
1 garlic clove, grated
1 shallot, minced
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
3 tablespoons olive or good organic canola oil (Hiighway Crossings is an excellent canola oil in our area)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon harissa powder or 1 tablespoon harissa paste (to taste)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Combine marinade ingredients and mix with a fork to emulsify. Set aside to allow the flavours to blend, about 20 minutes.
Steam carrots in a steamer basket over boiling water until just tender but not overcooked. Drain and immediately pour the marinade over the warm carrots. Let marinate for a few minutes.
Transfer carrots to a serving plate and spoon harissa marinade over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.