Moroccan Olives with Harissa Recipe
If you think harissa is a condiment only to be used on the side, think again! It makes a terrific marinade for olives.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 12oz. or 1 1/2 cups/250 g. whole olives with pits (all black or all green; or a mix of green, tan, red and black)
- 2to 3 tablespoons parsley (or cilantro, chopped fresh)
- ¼to 1/2 of a preserved lemon
- 2teaspoons olive oil (more as needed)
- Harissa, to taste (recipe follows)
- For the Harissa:
- 8to 10 dried red chili peppers (about 75 g)
- 3cloves garlic
- ½teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2to 3 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
- Olive oil, to taste or as needed
Step 1Soak the olives in a bowl of water for a few hours or overnight; drain. (Or, if the olives are hard, soften them by soaking in boiling water for 15 minutes.) For better infusion of the marinade, make one or two small incisions in each olive (or gently crush them to crack the flesh of the olive).
Step 2While the olives are soaking, make the harissa if it's not already prepared: Remove the seeds from the chile peppers then soak in hot water for a half hour or until tender enough to mash. Drain. Lightly toast the seeds in a skillet (just until fragrant) and grind them with a mortar and pestle. Add the softened chile peppers, garlic, salt, lemon juice and olive oil to the mortar and grind to a paste. Thin as desired with additional lemon juice and olive oil. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until needed.
Step 3Seed the preserved lemon and cut it into thin strips.
Step 4Combine the preserved lemon with the drained olives, parsley. lemon juice and as much harissa as desired.
Step 5If you like, a little additional olive oil or garlic can be mixed in to the olives.
Step 6Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours (overnight is best) before serving. The olives will keep in the fridge for several weeks. Leftover harissa may be stored in the fridge as well for use as a condiment with other foods.