With a complex flavor that delivers the heat, harissa is a North African hot chile paste that transforms carrots into an adventurous side dish. Carrots are massaged with a sweet and spicy honey-harissa, then roasted to tender perfection. Because it is difficult to run small amounts of ingredients through a food processor, this recipe yields extra paste.
1 pound small whole carrots, scrubbed and peeled
2 tablespoons harissa paste
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive
oil, plus more for the pan
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 ounces dried chile peppers, stemmed and seeded (see Cooking Note)
½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
½ teaspoon whole caraway seeds
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of one small lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
- To make the harissa paste: Soak dried chile peppers in hot water until rehydrated (about 30 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Toast the whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Move the spices around in the pan to prevent burning.
- Grind the toasted whole spices into a powder using a spice or coffee bean grinder.
- In a food processor, combine peppers, ground spices, garlic cloves, salt and lemon juice. Process on high and drizzle olive oil in until a smooth paste forms.
- To make roasted carrots: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Line a sheet pan with foil and lightly brush with oil. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the harissa paste, honey and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Generously coat the carrots with the honey-harissa mixture. Arrange on the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice, until fork tender.
- For the dried chiles, experiment with combinations of varieties such as puya, pasilla, ancho and guanjillo peppers.
Serving size: 4 ounces
Calories: 120; Total fat: 7g; Saturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 198mg; Carbohydrates: 14g; Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 9g; Protein: 1g; Potassium: 328mg; Phosphorus: 36mg