Roasted Chile Pepper Harissa
Makes about 1 cup of hot sauce paste
Harissa can be an obsession; this Lebanese inspired hot sauce is made with fresh red chiles and goes great with everything, including most any cuisine in this book. Essential for any grain dish like Pistachio Date Quinoa or Pumpkin Kibbe Casserole.
½ pound fresh hot red chile peppers
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Over a gas burner roast chiles until more than half of the skin is charred and blistered. An easy way to do this is to place chiles on a metal burner diffuser and turn chiles occasionally with long handled metal tongs. When chiles are done roasting place in a bowl or glass container and cover tightly immediately. Let chiles cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a small pan roast the fennel coriander, and cumin seeds and finely grind in a spice grinder.
2. When chiles are cool enough to handle remove the charred skin and discard the stem end. If desired remove some of the seeds to adjust the heat of the final sauce. Puree chiles with ground spices, tomato paste, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt until smooth. Serve immediately or store in a tightly covered container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.