Karissa’s Harissa on Vegetables

A vibrant picture of hanging Chiles

Is Karissa’s Harissa actually delicious or is it just convenient that it rhymes? This sauce is a tasty and versatile african chile paste- and yes, it rhymes! I chose this recipe because Karissa’s Harissa has a special ring to it that made me giddy inside. But lucky for me, and you it is the prefect thing to add a flare to any meal. The best way to use it, is to cook up all the veggies in your fridge that you don’t know what to do with and put some Harissa in the mix.

If you are anything like me, your CSA and your impulsive buys at the Farmers Market have left you with some strange vegetables in your fridge that would normally take some creativity to imagine how to prepare them. I had a pile of Turnip Greens, Chard, Radish, Sweet Purple Onion, and SOOOO many snap peas. I cooked these veggies up into a stir fry using Harissa as the seasoning and just the smell of it made me want more. If you have more soft vegetables to eat such as eggplant you should bake the veggies rather than cook them in a skillet but the Harissa is still the key to making them delicious.

Karissa’s Harissa on Vegetables

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes


Most Farmers Markets have a spice stand where you can find the Chiles and other seasonings for this recipe.

  • 1/3 lb chiles seeded and stemmed
  • 1 small head of garlic or 1/2 bunch of Garlic Scapes>
  • 1 tsp. Coriander
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8c. Mint
  • 1/4c. Cilantro
  • 1 Lemon Wedge
  • Up to 1/2c. Olive Oil
  • All your mismatch, outcast vegetables>


To make the Harissa paste, blend all of your ingredients except for the mismatch vegetables and the peel of the lemon wedge in a blender on high speed. A picture showing the texture of Red Hot HarissaDon’t add all of the Olive Oil at once, you want to add it a few TBSP at a time until it is to the desired consistency. The consistency you are looking for is a paste. It shouldn’t run quickly when tilted but it should be easily spreadable. Once the Paste is made it is time to cook the vegetables. How you cook the vegetables will greatly depend on what vegetable you are cooking.
Also note that when you store the Harissa, cover the top with olive oil to help it last longer and keep it from drying out.

Ideas for cooking vegetables

For Squash: slice the squash into rounds or strips and place them on a greased cooking sheet. Brush the veggies with olive oil and then brush them with the Harissa.

To bake them soft, keep them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make chips or fries, slice the squash much thinner and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then follow the baking with a broil until crispy. Eat the squash once it is cooled.

For Root Vegetables: Slice the roots into small bite-size pieces. Cook the roots over Med-High heat with some olive oil in a skillet. When they are about 1/2 way cooked add a couple TBSP of Harissa to the Skillet. You want them to get slightly charred looking but not burned.

For all other vegetables (not leaf): You want these veggies to maintain their crisp crunch. Heat them in the skillet with the Harissa much like the root vegetables but only until they are warmed. If you are making a stir fry with these veggies and the root veggies, add them into the root vegetable mix when you add the Harissa.

To serve the Veggies I wrapped them in the leaves of the Chard and ate it as a wrap. If you don’t have chard try using leaf lettuce or cabbage. It creates a great presentation and a fantastic meal!

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