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    • Randy Graham

    • July 9, 2014 in Columnists

    Harissa Spiced Potatoes with Fresh Lemon

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    Harissa is North Africa’s favorite hot sauce. The word for this fiery Tunisian chile paste is derived from the Arabic verb harasa, “to pound” because it is traditionally made with mortar and pestle.

    The main spices in harissa are hot red chili peppers, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, and cumin. I like to coat Yukon potatoes with some of the main spices in harissa, add paprika, garlic, lemon juice and red bell pepper and then roast the potatoes to perfection. Here’s my recipe:

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon paprika
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    ½ teaspoon ground caraway seeds
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 cloves garlic (minced)
    1½ – 2 pounds medium Yukon gold potatoes (sliced in half lengthwise)
    1 cup red bell pepper (1-inch dice)
    Fresh parsley (chopped for garnish)

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray.

    Put all ingredients except bell pepper and parsley in a large plastic bag. Holding the bag closed, shake all ingredients until well coated with oil and spices. Pour the potatoes and spice mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.

    Remove potato mixture from the oven and stir in peppers. Return baking sheet to oven and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.

    To serve, transfer potatoes to a large bowl and sprinkle with parsley.

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