Yotam Ottolenghi is my muse. I love his bold flavors, energetic spirit and infectious love for food. This is a rather radical modification of a recipe in his latest book, Simple. Rose harissa is somewhat hard to find (I get it at the Cheese Importers in Longmont, Colorado), but regular harissa that you make yourself or buy will be totally delicious. This is great as a side dish, something to bring to a dinner party (whenever that happens again…), or to add a little heft to a night when all your serving is a big salad. I find this intensely flavorful dish to be totally craveable. And for me, as long as it’s healthy, I don’t think we should make/eat any food that’s not in the category of craveable. Life is too damn short to spend time making and eating food that’s just meh.
With it being coronavirus/cold and flu season, this seemed like a logical recipe to post.
I first read about this sauce/spread in Milk Street magazine and then a couple of weeks later I saw it at the Boulder Farmers’ Market and then, strangely enough, at Trader Joe’s! Its origins are Lebanese and it’s often served with chicken kabobs, shawarma or falafel, but I like it drizzled over grilled veggies, spread like mayo on a sandwich, layered with hummus and veggies in a wrap, added to soup, drizzled in the middle of a taco filling, or simply dolloped on top of a potato chip!
All you need is a food processor or blender (I’ve only made it in a food processor), garlic, olive or vegetable oil (I use sunflower), lemon and salt. What makes it so unique is the emulsification process that produces an aioli-like sauce with an essence that enhances other foods to umami status.