What’s not to love about oven roasted potatoes? Tender on the inside, crispy on the outside. These harissa potatoes are all that and more. Rather than sticking with classic roast potatoes, these potatoes are tossed with harrisa (an aromatic paste made from chili, spices and herbs) plus a little cumin, paprika, sea salt and olive oil and then roasted in the oven. The result is everything you love about homemade roasted potatoes, but with an extra boost of tangy, spicy yumminess. And they are especially good with a little squeeze of lemon or a simple yoghurt sauce for dipping.
What is harrisa spice?
Harissa is a bright red paste that is spicy, peppery, tart and bright. It’s made using a variety of peppers and spices and can be added to dishes for a beautiful color and flavor. It’s widely used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines as a condiment (or as a ground spice) to flavor meat dishes, stews, soups or couscous. Since it’s quite strong in flavor, a little goes a long way. The basic ingredients are dried or fresh red pepper and chilies, garlic, salt, coriander, cumin, and oil. However, it’s worth noting that every brand’s ingredients differ a little, which also means the flavor can vary too. Thanks to its rising popularity you can find it in many larger grocery or organic food stores in ready-made jars and cans, and sometimes as a paste, in a tube. It’s also available as a ground spice, to which you can add oil and garlic.
Harissa Potatoes and more ideas
This North African chili paste is still quite new to my kitchen so I am still experimenting in new ways of using it. I’ve been using the dried, ground Harissa spice version for a while and love adding it to vegetarian chili. It’s also great for making simple roasted vegetables. For these harissa roasted potatoes I choose to use a store-bought paste and mix it with a couple other favorite spices for a super quick and simple recipe that can easily be thrown together and tossed in the oven. Stay-tuned there will definitely be more harissa recipes to come!
Which potatoes are best for the recipe
I like to use small new potatoes or fingerling potatoes for this recipe. You can find a fantastic assortment of potatoes at your local farmers market. And because of their small size, the ratio of crispy, caramelized outsides to tender insides is perfect. I used a mix of small firm cooking potatoes.
Harissa potatoes are a great alternative to classic potatoes. Oven-baked, they are tender on the inside, crispy on the outside. Easy to make and delicious.
- 1 kg small new or fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Handful chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
To serve (optional):
- lemon wedges, a squeeze helps kept flavors bright
- crumbled feta
- Yoghurt dip (made with Greek yoghurt, squeeze of lemon, garlic and fresh herbs)
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the potatoes in a bowl with the harissa, olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt; toss until the potatoes are well coated.
Transfer the potatoes to the baking sheet and spread out into an even layer.
Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until browned and crisp. Baking time depends on size of potatoes, and how browned you like them! Flip once half way through a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning. TIP: I like to have then cut side up for the last half of the baking time so that the cut side crisps up nicely.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, transfer to a serving dish, garnish with parsley. Season with more salt and pepper, if you like and enjoy them while they are hot!
Serve the harissa roasted potatoes with lemon wedges, some crumbled feta or a simple yoghurt dip. Enjoy!
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