Described commonly as Tunisia’s main condiment, harissa is used in all kinds of stews, a rub for meat, a flavouring for couscous and in a chickpea soup which is usually served for breakfast. No harissa I have ever bought has tasted the same as the next and as always it’s far better to make your own but on this occasion (as this is a quick supper) I’ve used shop bought.
I have always felt that harissa is somewhat underrated, and I wanted to experiment with it more. I have a pasta dish on my blog, which uses harissa but nothing so far with meat or fish – eggplant/aubergine is another food I think would work well with the smoky paste – but that’s on my list!
I used monkfish but will get mackerel when the market can supply it as I think the flavour will work well with the intensity of the harissa and we all like a crispy skin! This is a great little number, perfect for busy weeknights and really versatile depending on which fish you have and of course your harissa. You can always grill your fish or roast the potatoes, whatever suits you best.
Ingredients Serves 2
- 2 fish fillets (preferably mackerel) or any strong white fleshy fish
- 2 tbsp harissa paste
- 150ml olive oil
- 400g potatoes (chat or other starchy small potatoes)
- 2 zucchini, cut into ribbons with a mandolin or steady hand!
- 1 handful of roughly chopped mint leaves
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges to serve
- A small tub of plain yoghurt to serve (optional)
Whisk harissa with 100ml of oil and pour ¾ over your fish to coat. Set aside.
Cut potatoes in half (if needs be) so they are bite size and cook in boiling, salted water for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and shake in a colander to create a rough surface. If you have time, refrigerate them for an hour or two, as they will fry better.
Heat 30ml of oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and add your potatoes. Cook until crispy and golden. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl lined with kitchen paper, season.
Heat 20ml (or remaining oil) in the pan and cook your zucchini ribbons until golden (just for a few minutes) then add your potatoes and the mint. Toss to combine.
Heat a frying pan to a high heat and add your fish coated in the oil and harissa, place it skin side down first (if it has skin). Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden and just cooked through. Drizzle over remaining harissa mixture, season and serve with the potatoes with lemon wedges on the side and a dollop of yoghurt, if you fancy!