Homemade Paleo Harissa (spicy red pepper paste)

Eating clean has really improved my ability to improvise a recipe, mostly by taking an established recipe and making it my own.  I have learned how flexible most recipes are and I am really having fun playing around with recipes so I can post them on my blog!  Tonight was homemade harissa.  TDL and I are starting a Whole 30 tomorrow and our store-bought tube of harissa is definitely not Whole 30-approved, so I decided to see if I could make it.  The results were fantastic!

Not much to look at, but the taste is incredible!

Homemade Harissa

This recipe is very flexible, so use what you have and play around with it!  I based my recipe on this one.

2 small (or one large) red peppers, seeded and sliced in half
5-6 dried chilies (I used what I had in my pantry, I have no idea what type they were, and I don’t think it matters)
5-6 dried tomatoes
1/2 cup boiling water
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Place the red peppers on a baking dish and stick them in an oven heated to 400 F.  You want to cook them until they make your house smell delicious and have softened up a bit- I just cooked them until I was ready to put them in the food processor.  Meanwhile, boil 1/2 cup of water and once it boils, remove from heat and add dried chilies and dried tomatoes.  Let them soak until they are soft-ish (save the water).  While the dried veggies are soaking, add the garlic, spices, and lemon to a food processor.  Then add the soaked veggies and their soaking water (you can use less if you want a thicker paste).  By now your red peppers should be ready- take them out of the oven and add them to the food processor.  Blend until you achieve a paste-like consistency.  Taste (mmm, spicy goodness) and decide how much EVOO and salt you want to add.  Once you achieve perfection, you can store the harissa in your fridge for a couple weeks.  Most importantly, once you achieve harissa-perfection, you can be proud of how exotic your cooking has become!  Enjoy!

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One Response to Homemade Paleo Harissa (spicy red pepper paste)

  1. Pingback: Eating Out Seattle – Pasta & Co Harissa Chicken | Hungry Amazon

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