So you’ve likely heard of Harissa before, but have you tried it yet? If your palette enjoys a kick of spice, this is definitely a condiment/spice you want to add to your collection. Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chile paste that is a widely used staple in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. Though the recipes may vary by country or region, the typical version includes a blend of chile peppers, garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, caraway and mint.
Harissa is most commonly found ready-made in jars or sold as a paste, which is ideal for marinating meats or eggplant. However a spice powder version is also available which I prefer for roasting veggies or adding to eggs.
These roasted chickpeas can double as delicious salad toppers or triple as a nutritious snack. You can roast the whole can using the seasoning blend of Harissa, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper and just keep them in a tupperware container at home or work. When snacking hour hits, you will be equipped with a protein and fiber-rich alternative to the vending machine.
Although Harissa is inherently spicy, the dish itself is still relatively mild in the heat-department. The addition of spices really just make the roasted vegetables taste more rich, warm and satisfying.
I’m going to go out on a whim here and say you could even serve this dish to the utmost veggie opposers. As a dietitian, whenever I hear someone tell me they “dislike veggies”, I always pose the question of how they are preparing them. Preparation is the ‘make it or break it’ when it comes to cooking vegetables. For someone who has only tried broccoli steamed, carrots raw or peas that were frozen, veggies do not sound all that enticing. Though when you figure out what to season them with and which cooking methods bring out their richest flavor, your veggie horizons are instantly broadened. And yes, it is a beautifully delicious thing!
Give your tastebuds a treat by preparing this dish for meatless Monday or as a tasty side this week!
Harissa Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 2/3 cup cooked chickpeas (I used canned chickpeas that were drained and rinsed)
- 2 tbsp golden raisins
- 1/4 red onion, cut into thin slices
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Harissa powdered spice – found in the ethnic food isle of most grocery stores
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish: fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Coat a baking sheet or 8×12 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add cauliflower, chickpeas and red onion.
- In a small bowl, combine Harissa, cumin, garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over cauliflower mixture, tossing 2-3 times to evenly coat all sides.
- Roast for 30 minutes, tossing once half-way through.
- Remove from oven and add golden raisins and parsley. Serve!
Nutrition Facts per Serving (1/4th of entire recipe)
Calories: 118; Total Fat: 4 gm; Saturated Fat: .5 gm; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 138 mg; Carbohydrates: 17.5 gm; Fiber: 5 gm; Sugar: 8 gm; Protein: 5 gm