Harissa, the basic seasoning paste of Tunisia, is served with kebabs and couscous, and appears on the table in a small dish. It is also delicious on crusty bread spread with hummus. It is to be used sparingly as a condiment. Harissa is sold ready-made in tubes or small cans; the best comes from Tunisia.
- 1 1/2 pounds roasted, seeded, and peeled red bell peppers
- 1/4 pound fresh hot red chiles, seeded and trimmed
- 1 cup sweet Spanish paprika
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 to 8 peeled garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup ground caraway seed
- Combine bell peppers, chiles, paprika, olive oil, garlic cloves, and caraway seed. Purée in the bowl of a food processor until smooth and thick, adding salt to taste. To use as a sauce, whisk 1 tablespoon harissa with 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped flat parsley, and enough water to make a pourable sauce.
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