If you’re already versed in the world of harissa, I probably have to convince you very little to use it in a new way … you know how good it is. If you’re not familiar with harissa, you’ll definitely want to get to know this special sauce. Originating from North Africa and Middle Eastern reigions, this popular slightly spicy (ranging to very spicy, if you’d like) condiment is used as a flavorful paste for bread, marinades, and just all-around drizzles and smears. Though usually red (made from hot chili peppers), there are many variations, including a fresher-tasting green harissa that’s conjured out of herbs and toasted spices. It’s about the consistency of pesto, but where pesto often dominates overbearingly with garlic, harissa broadcasts with a multitude of aromatic complexities. It’s quite easy to make at home, and since it’s not cooked, it’s a great place to tuck in “sensitive” superfoods that can’t be cooked, like wheatgrass or spirulina.
Combining harissa with hummus is a bit of condiment gluttony, but I assure you in the very best way. The lovechild of these two #besteverfoods is truly an outstanding dip that offers huge wow-factor to pretty much everything it touches. You can make the harissa yourself and simply stir a little into store-bought hummus, but I like to make the whole thing from scratch — it tastes better and takes pretty much two extra minutes … I can deal with that.
Green Harissa-Avocado Hummus
Filled with fresh herbs and savory spices, this super creamy dip may just be the tastiest hummus upgrade you’ve ever had.
1 tablespoon cumin seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1½ teaspoon wheatgrass powder 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and reserved, pepper chopped 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided ¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided 1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved (divided) ¼ cup olive oil ¾ cup (packed) chopped cilantro ½ cup (packed) chopped parsley 1½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 15-ounce can unsalted garbanzo beans) 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
First, make the green harissa: Warm a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin and coriander. Toast for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly darkened, tossing occasionally. Transfer to a food processor and grind coarsely. Add the wheatgrass, jalapeño pepper only (not the seeds yet), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ garlic clove, olive oil, cilantro and parsley. Puree into a green paste. Taste for spice level, and blend in a few additional jalapeño seeds as desired for additional heat. Pour the green harissa into a small bowl.
Leave the remnants of the harissa in the food processor, and add the garbanzo beans, avocado, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ garlic cove, and 1 tablespoon of prepared harissa to the machine. Blend until completely smooth. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl. Swirl in as much harissa as desired into the center of the dip.
Enjoy with vegetables and pita quarters as a snack, or use as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.