Carrots with Harissa

harissa carrots

Over the holidays I purchased a really great cookbook that has livened my weekly cooking routine. It’s Plenty More by Yottam Ottolenghi. It’s the first book of his I own (though I have a couple of his recipes from Jerusalam that are in my regular meal rotation) and I think I made an excellent choice with this. I love that this book is filled with recipes featuring vegetables, 95% of which we already grow throughout the seasons at Long Season Farm. Though the vegetables are familiar, the techniques and combinations are new and different, so I am having a lot of fun these days. The recipes are fairly straight forward, though more time consuming than some meals, so its the perfect book for short and cold winter days spent in the kitchen.

The following is a modified version of a recipe in Plenty More, a perfect fit for our bumper carrot crop year! Our CSA members are currently hauling away 4 pounds of carrots each distribution, and this wonderful recipe uses half of that. It’s good enough to eat as a thick soup with a spoon, but thick enough to eat as a warm spread with flat bread or crackers.

Carrots with Harissa

1 Tablespoon olive oilcooking carrots

1-2 Tablespoons coconut oil

2 pounds carrots, scrubbed, peeled, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

1 cup water or stock

1 clove garlic, minced

zest of 1 lemon

2-4 Tablespoons harissa (recipe follows)

salt + pepper

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 cup coconut milk

juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Heat the oils in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook for 5-10 minutes, until they are golden on both sides and have begun to soften.

2. Add the water (or stock) and reduce heat to low. Stir and cover, and let cook 20-25 minutes until the carrots are soft and most of the liquid is gone.

3. Transfer the carrots and any remaining liquid to the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, lemon zest, harissa, and pepper. Pulse until just beginning to turn into a paste, but still chunky. Season with salt to taste.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut milk and lemon juice together until smooth.

5. Spread the coconut milk/lemon juice mixture in a shallow bowl. Spoon the carrots over and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.


 

The following is based on Deborah Madison’s recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It’s even better if you toast the spices briefly first, but it’s still good if you don’t.

Harissa

12 dried hot peppers, stems and seeds removed (I use Hot Portugal, our favorite hot pepper.  You can use a mixture of New Mexican and guajillo chiles)

4 cloves garlic, minced

salt

1 Tablespoon caraway seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1. In a small bowl, cover peppers with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes.

2. When peppers are soft, remove from the soaking liquid (reserve some) and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add some of the pepper soaking liquid if desired. Season with salt.

3. To store, pack in a small 1/2 pint jar and cover with a layer of olive oil and refrigerate.

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