Let’s talk harissa. It’s the not-so-secret flavor weapon in this Moroccan carrot salad. Harissa is a North African sauce made from hot peppers. It adds a fiery heat!
Harissa used to be difficult to find at the grocery store, but in the last year I’ve noticed more and more brands and varieties of harissa available. That is good news with one caveat….the style and brands of harissa vary widely. You’ll find both harissa paste and harissa sauce (the paste tends to be spicier because it is more concentrated). Ingredients vary among sauces, with some including things like tomato and preserved lemon. The best bet when using harissa is to start with a conservative amount, and then add more if you can take the heat! For this recipe, I suggested a range of harissa sauce (not paste). My preference is to use the full amount of harissa sauce with the brand of harissa hot sauce I used since it has added tomato and other ingredients that makes it a bit milder.
Harissa Carrot Salad Recipe
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa hot sauce (I used Mustapha’s Mediterranean)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large bowl, make dressing by whisking together harissa, olive oil, lemon juice, coriander, cumin and salt. Add carrots; stir well to coat with dressing. Add parsley; stir. Taste salad and season with additional salt, if needed. Salad can be served right after making or can be covered and refrigerated for several hours.
Makes 6 servings
Kitchen Tip: Purchased harissa varies in heat and consistency. If you use a strong harissa paste (rather than sauce), you may want to start with less harissa.