I like to make my own harissa when I have time – it’s perfect for keeping in the fridge until required. I was inspired to use sun-dried tomatoes in the harissa after reading Ana Sortun’s delightful Spices: Flavours of the Eastern Mediterranean.
There is a bit of preparation here, but most of it can be done ahead. I’ve taken to making a vegan version of mayonnaise using aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas, instead
of egg. Here I’ve added some preserved lemon too. There are infinite variatons on chermoula, with all kinds of spices and combinations, but I like to add fresh coriander to the mix. This recipe will make more chermoula than you need for the fish, but it’s good for another meal – it pairs well with lamb,
or use it to marinate some haloumi or firm tofu. The date syrup adds a little sweetness to the dish and it’s also
delicious drizzled over a fruit salad or muesli.
PRESERVED LEMON VEGAN MAYONNAISE
Depending on how you like your mayonnaise, you could also use all olive oil here, which will result in a stronger flavour. This will keep well in the fridge for ages.
Fermented vegetables are easy to make, and you can use absolutely any combination you like – this recipe is just a basic guide. Carrots and cauliflower are my favourite, with a few added spices such as a clove of garlic and some coriander seeds. Fermented radishes are good, too, as are plain carrot sticks – great for kids. Fresh turmeric can be found at farmers’ markets and Asian food stores, as well as in some supermarkets these days, but if you can’t find any, just use the dried powder or leave it out.
I normally use citrus zest, salt, oil, garlic and fresh herbs to marinate meat. But I think beef can handle a little dried spice too, and it’s great with a little crust on the barbeque. I started using Kaitaia Fire chillies about six years ago and have never looked back. Their cayenne is so light and flaky and super hot! We use secondary cuts in the restaurant as a reminder that there is a whole load of meat on a cow not just a fillet and sirloin. These cuts also work really well on the barbecue because of their marbled fat and texture.
If you are planning on making the pita breads, make them a little thicker when rolling out and toast them well before using for this dish, otherwise they have a tendency to get soggy from the sauce. Click here to learn how to make the pita breads.
Turmeric is everywhere right now – people are drinking turmeric lattes and eating turmeric ice creams! While it may be in fashion, we shouldn’t overlook that fresh turmeric is quite new to the market and much more zingy with citrus and ginger overtones than the powdered version. Its earthiness works well with the spices in apple crumble and it also adds amazing colour. For those who can’t get fresh turmeric, you can increase the dried turmeric to one teaspoon in the crumble; while more pungent, it still adds an interesting layer of flavour.
I prefer to grind my own cardamom seeds rather than buy pre-ground as the flavour is far superior. You can find quinoa flour at selected supermarkets and specialty stores.