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Harissa Homemade

Saturday, June 1, 2013
Harissa

Give me a bit of your time, a look at the horizon and a memory. Every day and forever.
I'll give you a smile, a little light on my shadows and something red. Every day and forever.

~ Anonymous

I wish I was able to describe colors to a blind man, to speak of white, silver and blue, or green, black and yellow, to make them alive even without light, and to stick them forever under the skin and inside the eyes; I wish I was able to grasp their secret, to understand their mystery and enigma, and then give the answer to those who don't know it.
And then I wonder, what color is it, the color red? Warm and strong like a sudden jolt that goes through your stomach; it's the color of sin, a forbidden apple, the tousled hair of an almost respectable girl. It burns, at times, like a sick passion, a cross and some blood spilled on the crazy sidewalks. It's exuberant as crimson and soft as velvet, positive as a new beginning and a horizon full of hope. It's the color of Mondays, safe, straightforward and a bit ambitious.
But red are also the bricks and the cracks of the houses up the hills, within the faded frame of my memory; summer tomatoes under the sun, a bed of poppies that you wanna dive in, the smell of the earth, and the dirty hands of simplicity.
Red to me is the only wine, full of fruit, and intoxicating with love and serenity. Red is the truth, that feeling that screams and suffocates, but that sometimes, unexpected, brings life back.
Red and shiny are the shoes that I've always wanted to wear, a touch of makeup that made you fall in love one day, and in the end, is that flower that we no longer had the courage to share.
I wish I was able, able to explain all the red that I carry inside and that you don't know. I wish.


Red Chili Peppers

Harissa Homemade*
for 2 small jars

medium size red bell peppers 3
cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon
caraway seeds 1/2 teaspoon
coriander seeds 1/2 teaspoon
small red onions 2
garlic 6 cloves
fresh red hot chilies 4
extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon
tomato paste 1 full tablespoon
lemon juice 4 tablespoons
salt 1/2 teaspoon


Spices


*This one comes always from here, Plenty, a book so full of red, yellow and green, so packed with vegan recipes... but not too much. Come on, tell me you already like it.

Harissa is a spicy hot sauce, typical of some North African countries (Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco), it's used to accompany grilled vegetables, meat (noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!), or rice and couscous dishes. But in my house it's also eaten with bread by the spoon...
Peel the bell peppers: roast them over a gas flame, close them for a few minutes in a paper bag, then remove skin and seeds. Cut into pieces and set aside.
Toast cumin, caraway and coriander seeds in a hot pan, then grind them up in a food processor until you get a powder.
Coarsely chop garlic and onion, and sauté them for a few minutes in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chilies, cleaned, seeded and cut into pieces. Cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until they take on an amber color. Let cool off slightly, and then blend the mixture with roasted peppers, spices powder, tomato paste, lemon juice and salt, until you get a smooth paste with no lumps.
It keeps in the fridge for a few weeks and it's used with love.
w.v.<3

Harissa Spoons

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