This is another in the series of recipes dedicated to my new love, the ever so delectable harissa. I told you that I was harissa obsessed and today’s recipe is further proof. Prior to this, I’ve shared recipes for goat and for chicken cooked in harissa. Included in the latter post was a recipe for the spicy sauce. For that recipe, I trimmed away the seeds and ribs from all the chiles and said that I wouldn’t do it again the next time I prepared the sauce. And so I did, finding this batch to be more spicy than its predecessor and, this time, the heat didn’t completely dissipate during cooking. Perfect.
So, armed with a fresh batch of harissa, I went searching for a new use. I didn’t have to go far because the internet is jam-packed with recipes using harissa. I eventually chose a salad with roasted vegetables, which should be popular with our friends to the Far South, where colder temps are taking hold. If you’re in the North, though, don’t let that dissuade you from trying this salad. I found it to be a perfect lunch for a chilly Spring day — and we seem to be having more than our fair share of those.
Aside from using my own harissa sauce, I did make a few changes to the original recipe. In the first place, I halved the quantities. It’s a good salad but there’s only so much one person can eat. The cilantro/coriander was the next thing to go and in its place I used the leaves from a bunch of flat-leaf parsley. Once again, since good fresh tomatoes cannot be found, I used grape tomatoes that I sliced in half. I followed the rest of the recipe and was rewarded with a great salad, one that fits nicely into my plans to go meatless one day a week.
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Roast Vegetable Salad with Harissa Recipe
- 3 tbsp harissa, divided – recipe found HERE
- olive oil
- 1lb (450 g) butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb (450 g) carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 5 oz (142 g) green beans, trimmed and halved
- 5 oz (142 g) fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 preserved lemon, flesh removed and skin finely chopped
- 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- .5 oz (15 g) fresh parsley leaves – cilantro/coriander leaves may be substituted, if you’re one of those
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- Pre-heat oven to 365˚ F (185˚C)
- In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp harissa with 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Place squash and carrot chunks in a large bowl and pour harissa-oil mixture over it. Mix to evenly coat the vegetables.
- Place on a baking sheet/dish, set on middle rack in oven, and bake until both types of vegetables can be easily pierced — 30 to 45 minutes. Remove and cool.
- Meanwhile, blanch green beans in a small pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and place in an ice water bath until needed.
- In a large non-reactive pot, add green beans, spinach, preserved lemons, tomatoes, parsley, and the now-cooled roasted vegetables.
- Combine remaining 2 tbsp harissa with 1 tbsp olive oil and use to dress the salad. Add more oil, if needed.
- May be serve chilled or at room temperature.
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How much oil you add will depend upon how thick your harissa is. Mine is rather thick, so, I add olive oil to make it easier to coat the vegetables and, later, to dress the salad.
In all, I tried this recipe three ways. One is as you see listed above. In another, I used baby arugula (rocket) in place of the spinach. I found the leaves weren’t strong enough to withstand the harissa dressing and wilted pretty quickly. The 3rd and last time was prepared without spinach and with half the amount of parsley. The result was a dish of roasted vegetables that make a perfect side for a roast. This version is definitely worth making again, perhaps adding additional root vegetables to the mix.
I’ve found that my recipe for harissa yields 3 cups of the sauce, far too much for most recipes. Using an ice cube tray, I freeze the excess, placing the frozen harissa cubes in plastic bags until needed.
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It was about a year ago when I shared a favorite salad of my Grandpa, one simply made using canned tuna, anchovies, and sliced onion. I included my updated version, which used seared tuna over a bed of salad greens. Both are lighter fare and equally tasty. You can see them both and decide which is best for you by clicking HERE.
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