Homemade Harissa

Make and enjoy roasted Red Kuri Squash on a bed of quinoa and shredded kale, drizzled with homemade harissa and roasted garlic yogurt. 

 
 

My trip to Morocco over Christmas inspired me to create a dish that has all the flavour and colour of the African continent using UK grown fresh produce. 

The roasted Red Kuri Squash was from Leigh Court Farm just outside of Bristol and is satisfyingly sweet. Instead of the Morrocan staple cous cous, I chose quinoa, grown on the plains of Essex by UK producer Hodmedods, which looks a bit like cous cous but is totally gluten free and the highest protein grain. Served on a bed of shredded kale, lightly steamed and dressed in lemon juice with squash plied on top, the homemade harissa and roast garlic yogurt are the jewels in this Moroccan crown. 

Traditional harissa uses red pepper, grilled to bring out all of the sweetness. We can swap this for another, naturally sweet vegetable that is grown organically in the UK, like red onion and a bit of left over squash, so it has not been air freighted. 

Here is how you combine these beautiful spices with some UK grown delights to create these seriously tasty toppers. 

Homemade Harissa

Ingredients: 

1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 cumin seeds
1/2 caraway seeds
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 small red onion
A few pieces of left over roasted squash
3 cloves of garlic
3 hot red chillis
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt 

Method: 

  1. Half the red onion and douse with olive oil and then wrap the whole garlic bulb in foil, also with a bit of olive oil and roast both at 180C for about an 45 mins to an hour. Keep an eye out as it will depend on your oven.   
  2. When done, let cool and squeeze the flesh out of the garlic cloves into a bowl. 
  3. Place a dry frying pan over low heat and lightly toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds for 2 minutes. Remove them to a mortar and use a pestle to grind to a powder.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry the other onion and chiles for 10 to 12 minutes, until a dark smoky colour and almost caramelised. I sometimes add a bit of maple or agave syrup at this point to make even sweeter. 
  5. Now use a blender or a food processor to blitz together all of the paste ingredients, including red onion squash and half garlic until smooth, adding a little more oil if needed.
  6. Eat straight away or store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or even longer.

Roasted Garlic Yogurt 

Ingredients

250g organic full fat natural yogurt (I used Yeo Valley) 
1/2 a roasted garlic
A pinch of salt and black pepper
Any fresh herbs like mint, parsley or corriander that you can get locally grown. You can use the stalks as they will be blended. 
A tiny dash of cider vinegar

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and whizz. Taste to season. 

You can prepare these in advance and then drizzle over your roasted squash and quinoa whenever. Also if you put left over harissa in a lovely Kilner jar, it's a great homegrown gift to take to someone's house or for a birthday.