Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Operation Use Harissa, Phase One: Harissa Pasta and Kale with Olives, Pine Nuts, and Lemon

So, it's been over a month since I made that batch of harissa, and although it seems to be keeping just fine with a layer of olive oil over it, in a sealed jar, in the fridge, it does make me uneasy.  So I decided to get moving on some more harissa recipes.

Point number one: You should not eat this dish if you have a hot date in the next, like, week.  Unless, of course, you feed it to your date, too.  There is so so so much garlic in it.  I thought that cooking more of the harissa would tame it down some, and I'm sure it did, but it's still super garlicky.  Actually, if you use the harissa recipe that I did, you probably don't need to add any more garlic at all.

The recipe called for pitted olives; when with a paring knife I turned my pitful olives into pitted ones, they got real ugly.  So I chopped them up. 

When I first prepared this dish, I thought perhaps there was one too many flavors going on.  Harissa is complicated enough, plus lemon, plus olives... but the next day, they all tasted great together. 

On another note: this dish actually has a fair amount of protein, with the whole wheat pasta (seriously--check out how much protein it has) and the pine nuts.  Speaking of which, the 1/2 c was actually a little much--gee, what a bummer, considering how expensive those dudes are.  So yeah, feel free to skimp there.

 Harissa Pasta and Kale with Olives, Pine Nuts, and Lemon
(from 101cookbooks)
8 ounces (1/2 pound) whole wheat pasta (I used rotelle)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (optional)
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 TB harissa (paste)

1 small bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
1/2 c oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
1/3-1/2 c pine nuts, toasted
zest of 1 lemon


1. Cook pasta according to directions.  Meanwhile, combine crushed garlic, salt, olive oil, and harissa into a paste and set aside.
2. Just before the pasta is done cooking, add the kale and cook very briefly.  Strain and set aside.
3. In the same pot (now empty), heat most of the harissa-mixture.  Add pasta, kale, olive, pine nuts, and zest.  Stir for about a minute, then empty out onto a platter/bowl and drizzle with remaining harissa mixture. Serves about 4 - 6.

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