I’m drawn to pantry-staples of other cultures. But my wallet-finger is usually faster than my cooking skills, so I don’t always know what to do with the condiments once I’ve purchased! Harissa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harissa) is an example. Harissa is a chili pepper paste from Tunisia. It has a beautiful rich, deep umber/red color and gives a spicy, earthy flavor to dishes. Here I have paired it with salmon which is a fish that can stand up to other dominant flavors.
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup harissa paste or sauce
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1-2 pounds (454-907 grams). salmon fillet
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Any mixed tender herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill, or chives
- Preheat oven to 275ºF (135ºC). Whisk oil, harissa, and garlic in a bowl. Pour half of harissa oil into a baking dish (big enough to hold the fish) and swirl to coat.
- Slice one halved lemon and scatter the slices in the baking dish.
- Season salmon on all sides with salt and place the fish on top of the lemon slices.
- Spread the remaining harissa oil evenly over salmon.
- Roast 15 mins. Brush fish with harissa oil in the baking dish. Continue to roast until flesh flakes apart easily with a spoon, 15 (medium rare) –25(well-done) mins longer.
- Use a spoon to break up salmon into irregular pieces.
- Arrange salmon and lemon slices on a serving plate. Drizzle with any harissa oil left in the baking dish, squeeze the remaining halved lemon, and spread some herbs.