Beet Salad with Couscous, Harissa & Feta
At home, I have at least 10 different hot sauces and chile pastes in my fridge. Whether Latin or Asian, I love them all. One chile sauce that’s been getting pretty popular the last few years is Harissa. Originally from Tunisia in Northern Africa, but enjoyed throughout the Mediterranean, this spicy condiment hasn’t been easy to find in a foodservice format. It’s often a concentrated paste made with dried chiles or simply a spice blend that requires mixing with oil. I developed our new Harissa Sauce with a fresh roasted chile profile, plenty of heat and a texture that’s ready to use from the container.
I got really hooked on harissa a few years ago when I was helping a fellow chef with some catering. She makes her own harissa paste and uses it on all types of meats and vegetables in her Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired menus. Whether on a lamb skewer, a shawarma sandwich wrap, drizzled on top of hummus, or tossed with couscous, the balanced flavors and bold spices really amplify a recipe. This month I decided to roast some beets and toss them with Harissa Sauce and Israeli couscous for a great midwinter salad. The fresh mint and feta cheese complement the complex flavors, making this a perfect yet simple side dish. Feel free to add more or less Harissa Sauce depending on your desired spice level, and don’t mix the salad too much or you’ll end up with pink couscous (though that could be the next big food trend).