Hey, guys! My name’s Sarah and I moved from Los Angeles to the UK 11 months ago. It’s not exactly as cool as it sounds. Unless you like sheep. If you like sheep then it is very, VERY cool. I live in a village in Northern Ireland with no stoplights, a postman that tells me way too much about my neighbors, a corner shop whose produce section is limited to overripe bananas. The talk of the town is that we are getting a gas station. Think Mayberry with an accent.
I have to admit it has crept its way into my heart – the undulating landscape, the lush green patched with golden barley fields, the welcoming nature of the people. I’ve even been endeared to my overly-informative postman (by the way, my next-door neighbor has been getting some strange wee packages as of late and the lady down the road has been on a mail order shopping binge). But BOY, do I miss the restaurant scene in LA. On a hunger-driven whim you could get ethiopian, malaysian, thai, armenian, el salvadorian, oaxacan, or sushi. The only ethnic food you will find here is Chinese takeaway. Did I mention they serve it over fries? Exactly. So, into the kitchen I march, realizing if I want to taste it, I have to make it.
One of the ingredients I’ve been putting on practically everything lately is harissa- guys…HARISSA. It has a spicy burn that hits just after aromatic interplay of the cumin, coridander, caraway, and mint. Otherwise boring soups, sandwiches, and chicken beg for the kick it gives. Think of it as the siracha of the North African world. The dish it graces today is a simple roasted harissa veggie bowl with a tahini dressing.
A couple of things about the harissa veggie bowl:
Don’t be a slave to the vegetables that I have listed. If you have zucchini, broccoli, and sweet potato- go for it! Also- you can do amazing things with these leftovers- an egg scramble the morning after, with avocado in a wrap to take to work, just straight out off the pan as you are cleaning up after…lots of options!
Here’s the recipe:
Harissa Veggie Bowl
- 1 butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
- 2 red onion (wedged)
- 2 red bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 2 T harissa paste
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 c tahini
- 1/4 c water
- 1/2 lemon (juiced)
- Heat your oven to 400 F.
- While it is getting up to temp, whisk together harissa, red wine vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Drizzle mixture over your vegetables and stir to evenly coat.
- Throw veg onto a baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes.
- While the veg is roasting, drain, rinse, and blot dry a can of garbanzo beans. Toss with salt, pepper, and cumin. Scatter beans over roasting vegetables once they have 20 minutes left.
- Now whisk together tahini, water, and lemon juice. Once veg is done roasting (butternut squash should be easily pierced with a fork), serve with leftover rice, couscous or just eat as is- but whatever you decide- don't forget to top with the tahini dressing.
- Serve and enjoy!