One traybake easy and delicious Harissa cauliflower and pumpkin salad that pack a punch!
What is Harissa you may ask? Harissa is a spicy chili paste that hails from North Africa, particularly Tunisia. Its name is derived from the Arabic word “harasa,” meaning “to pound” or “break into pieces.” This fiery condiment has been a staple in North African cuisine for centuries.
Traditionally, harissa is made by blending red chili peppers with garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, caraway seeds, and other spices. The result is a vibrant, complex sauce that adds heat, depth, and a smoky flavor to a wide range of dishes.
1.Marinades: Harissa is an excellent base for marinades, infusing grilled meats or vegetables with a spicy and aromatic flavor. Try it with chicken, lamb, or even tofu for a tasty barbecue.
2. Dips and Spreads: Mix harissa with Greek yogurt or hummus to create a fiery dip or spread that pairs perfectly with pita bread, crackers, or fresh veggies.
3. Soups and Stews: A spoonful of harissa can elevate your soups and stews, giving them an extra kick and depth of flavor. It’s especially delightful in tomato-based soups.
4. Roasted Vegetables: As demonstrated in our Roasted Harissa Cauliflower and Pumpkin Salad, harissa can transform a simple vegetable dish into a showstopper. Its spiciness complements the natural sweetness of roasted vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers.
5. Grains and Pasta: Stir harissa into cooked grains or pasta dishes to create a zesty sauce. It pairs wonderfully with couscous, quinoa, or pasta, and you can add your choice of protein and vegetables for a complete meal.
This roasted Harissa Cauliflower and Pumpkin Salad is a testament to the versatility of harissa. This dish effortlessly melds the heat of North African spice with the earthy sweetness of roasted vegetables, all brought together by a refreshing coriander dressing. It’s a beautiful harmony of flavors and textures, making it perfect for both everyday meals and special occasions. Have it as a salad or with some roasted chicken or lamb.
So, the next time you’re looking to spice up your culinary repertoire, reach for a jar of harissa. Whether you’re roasting, marinating, dipping, or spreading, harissa is sure to add a fiery twist to your dishes, just as it has for generations in North African kitchens.
If you want to know more about Pesto Princess it is one of the few ready made sauces and pesto’s I trust and actually use in my kitchen. The taste is great and a little bit of convenience goes along way after a long day to get meals on the table.
Spicy and fragrant roasted vegetable salad. Eat it warm or cold.
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
3–4 tbsp harissa paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
2–3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbs tahini or you could use olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
2–3 tbsp water
handful of coriander, I also like to use mint
Preheat your oven to 200°C
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower florets and cubed pumpkin or butternut squash.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the olive oil, harissa paste, salt, and pepper. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat them evenly.
Spread the coated vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until they are tender and slightly caramelized. Be sure to toss them once or twice during the roasting process for even cooking. Add the lentils and chickpeas in and stir. Place back in the oven for a few minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the coriander dressing. In a blender or food processor, combine the chopped coriander, Greek yogurt, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until you have a smooth and creamy dressing. Adjust the seasoning if needed, and set the dressing aside.
Toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Keep a close eye on them, as they can burn quickly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the roasted vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly.
To assemble the salad, place the roasted vegetables in a large serving bowl. Drizzle the coriander dressing over the top.
Sprinkle the toasted flaked almonds, chopped pistachios, and dried cranberries over the dressed vegetables.
Gently toss the salad to ensure all the components are well combined and coated in the dressing.
Serve the roasted harissa cauliflower and pumpkin salad immediately as a delicious and colorful side dish or a hearty vegetarian main course.