Green Harissa

Y’all, condiments are important.


I never really thought about the importance of condiments until I started the low histamine diet. Now I realize that condiments actually make the food world go ’round. Condiments are often the signature flavors of cuisines, and the real test of how “deep” you go into a cuisine is the love of their condiments. Unfortunately, condiments are also mostly based on ingredients that are no longer part of my diet- especially the #1 condiment ingredient around the world, vinegar. Vinegar and vinegar based sauces, fermented sauces like soy sauce and fish sauce, sauces based on tomatoes… all off the menu. So I’ve been looking for condiments and sauces that I can eat without reaction, because a life without sauces and condiments is just… boring.


Green Harissa

3 fresh green poblano chiles
10 cloves of garlic
2 bunches of cilantro, with stems
1 tbl coriander seeds, whole
2 tbl cumin seeds, whole
1 tbl peppercorns, whole
1/2 tsp long pepper, whole
1/3 c good olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced

Chop cilantro roughly, including stems. Take the seeds out of the poblanos and chop. Mince the garlic. Throw them all in the blender. Dig out your smallest skillet or pan. Pour the whole spices into the pan and place over medium heat. Stir or shake almost constantly until the cumin and coriander seeds darken and maybe crackle, and the spices start smelling toasty. If they start to burn, pour them out of the pan immediately onto a plate. Once the spices are nicely toasted, pour them into the blender. Cover and pulse until the cilantro is well-chopped and everything starts to come together. Add the olive oil and run for no more than 5 seconds at a time, pausing to let the mixture cool down. Add 1 tsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of salt, and pulse again just until thoroughly mixed. Don’t let it get completely smooth. Put it in the fridge overnight. Taste it in the morning and adjust salt and acidity if necessary.

Eat on everything! Especially good with cold boiled new potatoes, roasted cauliflower, smoked chicken, or stirred into a bowl of hot jasmine rice.

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