Posts Tagged harissa

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feta and Mint

You know what? Life is good. Life is really good.

As much as I’d like to complain, I really can’t. My cup runneth over. My freelance career is going splendidly. My husband is the best. I have an incredible network of family and friends to lean on. I have the cutest pets on the planet. Oh, and I live in a city full of talented people (and delicious food).

In addition, I recently started a job as the Marketing Director for the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. The job is a part-time and super flexible, which is a perfect compliment to my freelance schedule. It is a huge and thriving market, brimming with artisans, farmers, bakers, and makers of every sort. I love it!

Even though I’ve only been with the market for a couple of months, I can already feel a difference in my cooking and eating habits. Each week, I come home with an incredible array of baked goods, fruits, veggies, snacks, sauces, and more. I can’t help but be inspired by the things I find at the market.

During my first week at the market, I stopped by the DeNoble Farms booth and purchased a couple of rainbow carrots. I’ve eaten a lot local and organic carrots in my day, but there was something particularly special about these carrots. They are vibrant, flavorful, crisp, and sweet. They are light years beyond any carrot you’ll find in a grocery store.

For the most part, I’ve been eating these carrots raw and unadorned, which is totally delicious. However, you really can’t go wrong with these carrots. A few nights ago a made a big roast chicken dinner, and decided to make a side of spicy roasted carrots. I made up this recipe on the spot, and I feel that it’s a winner. The sweetness of the carrots pairs so nicely with the spice and smokiness of the harissa, paprika, and cumin. The addition of salty feta and fragrant mint just add to the depth and flavor of the dish.

All of that to say, I love these carrots and I love this dish. Really, I love my life. I got no complaints and I’m gonna leave it at that.

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feat + Mint | Rosemarried

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feta and Mint

Ingredients

  • 2 small bunches organic carrots (15-20 small carrots)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry carrots. Remove carrot tops, if any, and reserve for another use. If you carrots are small and thin, you may leave them whole. If they are larger, slice lengthwise in half (or quarters).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, harissa, spices, lemon juice, and honey. Toss the carrots with the oil and spice mixture and half of the chopped mint, then arrange in an even layer on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20+ minutes, or until fork tender. (Roasting time will vary, depending on the size of the carrots). When tender, remove from oven and arrange in a serving dish. Sprinkle feta cheese and remaining mint atop the roasted carrots. Serve warm.

http://rosemarried.com/2014/03/19/moroccan-spiced-carrots-feta-mint/

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

When I first moved to Portland from Los Angeles, I was told that I must eat at Toro Bravo. I was warned that the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. I was told to expect a long (2+ hour!) wait. But, everyone declared that the wait was worth it.

The people of Portland have long adored Toro Bravo, but I just couldn’t find it in me to wait for two hours for dinner. I’m far too impatient (and I knew I would get far too hangry).

That said, it took me 4 years to finally visit Toro Bravo. I planned to arrive early on a weeknight, in hopes to evade the crowds. Much to my surprise and delight, I was seated right away. Over the course of the evening, I tried a number of different dishes and they were all ridiculously good. However, there was one dish that stood out above the rest: the Harissa-stewed butternut squash. It was incredible — smoky, spicy, rich, warm, and comforting. I devoured the squash and considered ordering another. (And, yes, I’ll admit that I should have tried Toro Bravo years ago. Why did I wait so long?!)

I’ll admit that I crave this dish often. It’s completely addicting. I’ve braved the lines at Toro Bravo a couple of times since that night, specifically for the squash. You can image my elation, then, when I discovered that the new Toro Bravo cookbook included a recipe for the dish!

Let me tell you, the ability to make this dish at home is a real game changer. I might never leave my house again, except to go to the store for more squash and harissa.

harissa squash

TORO BRAVO’S HARISSA-STEWED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Adapted from “Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.” and Portland Monthly Magazine.

Notes on the recipe: The original recipe calls for Rose Petal Harissa, but says that you can sub regular harissa. I used regular harissa, but the kind I have is particularly spicy, so I cut it with a bit of tomato paste (which also added color and flavor to the dish).

INGREDIENTS:
1 butternut squash (2–3 lb)
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp harissa
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Several dollops soft goat cheese

METHOD:

1. Using a sharp knife, halve the squash. Trim off the skin, scoop out the seeds, and dice into 1/2″ cubes.
2. Heat two large skillets over medium-high heat. Place two tablespoons of butter in each pan. Once the butter has melted and is beginning to brown, place half of the squash in one pan and half in the other. Season squash with salt and pepper.
3. Allow squash to cook untouched for the 3 minutes, or until brown on one side. Toss and allow the squash to cook a few more minutes, until nicely browned.
4. Pour squash into one pan, remove from heat, and set aside. Add a bit of olive oil to the empty skillet and cook onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Stir often and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the squash into the pan with the onions and garlic, and stir to combine. Add in the harissa, cream, tomato paste, and paprika. Allow to cook, uncovered, until squash is fork tender and beginning to fall apart (30+ minutes). Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
6. Pour the mixture into shallow baking dishes and sprinkle dollops of goat cheese over the top. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve immediately.