What’s harissa? The first time I heard about harissa was when I was watching Jamie’s Fish Supper where he grilled sardines and harissa was used. According to the internet, harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce that sounds pretty darn spicy.

While I was shopping at Eastern District last week, I saw that they were selling jars of harissa. I’ve been on a spicy kick where I basically add sriracha to every I eat so I bought a jar to taste what harissa is all about.

Before going off to buy sardines, I wanted to taste the harissa (which has sundried piments, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sundried tomatoes, salt coriander, and caraway seeds). Besides buying the jar of harissa, I also bought a ball of mozzarella and a jar of honey at Eastern District. With those ingredients I made a quick snack. A smear of harissa on a baguette and topped with the cheese and honey.


Ok, the harissa wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting it to be super spicy but this was only a little bit spicy, just enough to barely set your mouth on fire. Though I did enjoy the tomato flavor of it and the sandwich I made was pretty good.

After Googling further, I found few harissa recipes over at 101 Cookbooks. There’s one where she mixes pasta and harissa together which gave me an idea for my dinner. I cooked some pasta and mixed in harissa, creme fraiche, mozzarella, arugala and tuna in a jar with oil. I was pretty happy with this dish. It was crunchy from the raw arugula, creamy from the mozzarella, a little spicy from the harissa and the tuna added another level of flavor to it.

Do you use harissa? What’s your favorite way to use it?


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