Harissa (a North African spice paste) has been showing up in a lot of my cooking these days.It’s got a nice balance between smoke and spice, and adds a good kick to any traditional tomato dish. You can buy harissa at well-stocked grocery stores (Whole Foods, New Seasons or plenty of ethnic markets), or make your own by soaking dried chiles and then grinding them with spices in a coffee grinder.
Here’s a harissa-laced breakfast beverage-I prefer gin myself, but feel free to use vodka. It’s your thing, do what you wana do.
Harissa Bloody Mary
6 cups of R.W. Knudsen Family Very Veggie juice (or any other low-sodium tomato juice)
3 tablespoons of harissa paste
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
3 grinds of black pepper
2 tablespoons of horseradish
4 ounces of gin
The juice from one big lemon or two Meyer lemons
Several shakes of Worchester
1 tablespoon of salt
Celery sticks, green bean or asparagus for garnish
Add ice to pitcher, filling up about halfway. Fill with gin or vodka. Add tomato juice and stir with large spoon. Stir in harissa, tasting along the way to fit your heat preferences. Add peppers, horseradish, lemon juice, Worchester and salt. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with celery, asparagus or green bean. Serves four.