Harissa is a hot paste from Tunisia (North Africa), made from chilli, herbs and spices. Traditionally cooked in a tagine, this dish can also be done by gently cooking on your stove top. Choose good quality chopped tomatoes and go easy on the harissa paste if you are not great with chilli
This is such a simple, uncomplicated, warming, economical and nourishing dish. Loads of fresh herbs lift its earthy notes.
oil for cooking
1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 x 400 gram cans chopped tomatoes
1 – 1.5 teaspoons of harissa paste
2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
1 cup of fresh parsley, washed well and roughly chopped
1 bunch of fresh coriander, washed well, stems finely diced, leaves roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt and cracked black pepper to taste
#optional – 1 teaspoon of dried chilli
Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan. Alternatively just use a little water and sauté the onion until softened. Add the garlic and cook on a gentle heat for another minute or two.
Add the crushed chopped tomatoes, harissa paste and maple syrup. Stir to combine and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add the beans. Stir through the parsley and coriander. Bring everything to the boil.
Check the seasoning. Add some chilli flakes if you want more heat.
Serving suggestion: This is lovely served with cous cous, steamed maple carrots, loads of salad dressed in fresh lime juice and olive oil. Fresh bread to mop up all the juices is also a great accompaniment.
Yields: 4 small serves
Time: Takes about 30 minutes.
Notes: Harissa paste is available in well stocked delis.
I often also add a generous handful of good quality Kalamata olives to this dish, when I add the beans.
If you have left overs, this is delicious on toast the next day.