Bell Peppers and Red Jalapeno Chiles

Bella and I planted red bell pepper and jalapeno seedlings at the beginning of the summer, so with a plethora of home-grown peppers, I made a batch of this year’s hottest condiment, harissa. This North African sauce can be purchased in jars, but is a cinch to prep at home. The effort pays off with a fresh, snappy bite that is a delicious accent to vegetables, meats and eggs.

Backyard Pepper Pot Harissa

Makes 2 cups

2 red bell peppers

6 red jalapeno chiles

6 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

olive oil

Char the peppers over an open flame, either on a gas range or grill, until the skin is blackened all over. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover to steam the skin away from the pepper. Cool for 10 minutes, then rub the blackened skin away from the peppers with a paper towel. Pull out the stem, pull the peppers into strips and discard the seed pod. Don’t worry about any bits of blackened skin or seeds still clinging to the peppers, they can be included in the sauce.

Place peeled, seeded peppers in a food processor with the garlic, salt, coriander, cumin and enough olive oil to make the pepper mixture slightly moist. Process the peppers until they are smooth and taste for seasoning, adjusting if needed. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

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