Who hasn’t heard of harissa? It is one of the best pastes you can ever have, and Tunisia’s greatest pride in cuisine. You’ll find harissa in every single household in Tunisia – it is a staple!
Harissa is a red pepper paste made with red peppers, red hot chili peppers, and different spices such as cumin, coriander, caraway, and garlic. All of these ingredients are blended with olive oil until a smooth paste is formed. You can control the spiciness of the harissa with the amount of hot chili peppers you add.
There are many different kinds of harissa; you have the sweet harissa which doesn’t contain any hot peppers and is usually bright red in color. You also have the mild, moderate, and extremely spicy harissa.
There is a chunky version, and a smooth version. Basically, whatever your preference is, you’ll find a harissa that is perfect for you.
Harissa is used in many soups, stews, and dishes such as couscous and pasta. We use it to add some flavor and a kick to the dish. Another way to eat harissa is simply with olive oil and hot, freshly baked bread.
For this recipe, I use harissa to flavor the roasted veggies. This gives it a nice spicy flavor and a beautiful color. This unique take on pizza is truly something. The vegetables are so smooth and buttery with a ton of flavor, and the puff pastry adds crispiness to the dish.
The recipe is so easy to make, and it is vegetarian, can be vegan, and kid friendly; an excellent way to add in some veggies for kids. The best part: you can use whatever vegetables you have sitting in the fridge.
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 4-6)
- 250 gr puff pastry
- 1 large onion
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 large carrot
- 1 medium potato
- A piece of pumpkin
- 2 small tomatoes or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 peppers (any kind: hot, sweet, green, or colored)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp harissa mixed with 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (any type: mozzarella, gruyere, cheddar, gouda, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 200 C. Get a 25 cm x 17 cm (9 x 7 inches) baking dish and set aside.
- Cut onion into large chunks and place in baking dish.
- Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and then into thick slices. Place in baking dish with the onions.
- Cut the potatoes, pumpkin, and tomatoes into medium size chunks. Add to the other vegetables.
- Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and then cut into thick slices. Add to the baking dish.
- Slice or grate the garlic cloves.
- Add the spices: oregano, chili flakes, harissa mixture, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss all the vegetables until the pieces are evenly coated.
- Place in the oven and roast for 30 min. In the meantime, take the puff pastry and roll out the dough until you get the desired thickness and shape.
- Once you remove the roasted vegetables from the oven, cover them with the puff pastry, making sure to tuck the sides. Remove any excess dough with a knife. Replace the dish in oven for another 15-20 min or until the pastry is golden on top.
- Remove from the oven. Take a tray or a wooden board and place it on top of the baking dish and flip it over. The pizza should easily come off. Top it with shredded cheese.
I hope you enjoy making this unique pizza with a taste of Tunisia. Let us know what you think in the comments. This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver.
This article is part of the #TasteTunisia initiative launched by Carthage Magazine. In search of Tunisian cuisine, through a series of articles/videos, Carthage Magazine offers a window to the Tunisian food, recipes and how they are prepared.
The Taste Tunisia initiative is supported by Carthage Magazine and led by international registered dietitians-nutritionists from Tunisia, making it the ultimate initiative that celebrates and promotes Tunisian cuisine.
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