The deep yet smooth heat that comes from harissa is absolutely a game changer when it comes to doing something memorable with vegetables in a skillet pan. Harissa is a paste made from red pepper, garlic, coriander and caraway. It tastes exotic, hot and savory- it wakes up your senses, makes you second guess what you are eating, fades, then makes you crave more. So many oohs and mmms.
A great way to calm the heat of harissa without dulling it too far, is with coconut milk. It adds a subtle sweetness that blankets the spicy-hot perfectly. In the end, you are left with a vibrant sunset stew that is as addicting as it is satisfying.
"A side of warm naan or fluffy rice will help extend the number of servings."
Notes: Coconut milk is full-fat. Harissa is Trader Joe's.
HARISSA SWEET POTATO STEW
Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. + extra olive oil, 1 Tbsp. corn starch, 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed, 8 oz. extra firm tofu cubed, 2 scant Tbsp. harissa, 2 cups broccoli florets, 1 medium onion-chopped, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 can coconut milk, zest of 1 lime, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, fresh cilantro.
1. Cut tofu into cubes and toss with corn starch. Heat olive oil in a large skillet pan over medium-high and brown the tofu on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove tofu and reserve.
2. Add a drizzle more of olive oil, onion, and potato. Stir and cook for 7-10 minutes, until onion is translucent and lightly browned.
3. Add in garlic, salt, pepper, chicken broth, lime zest, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer. Cook until potato is just fork-tender, (not soft!) about 20 minutes. Liquid should be reduced and thickening.
4. Continue to cook, stirring gently allowing stew to reduce until it coats well the back of a spoon.
5. Tip in the broccoli, tofu and milk. Raise the heat to medium, which will speed up the simmer, and cook a final 5 minutes, or until broccoli is tender-crisp.
6. Garnish with fresh torn cilantro leaves and serve.
Tip: The tofu will brown better if you first press it with paper towel to remove excess moisture prior to tossing with corn starch.
DF: Use unsweetened plain almond milk in place of regular, or more coconut milk (without the head cream).
Vegetarian: Vegetable broth is fine substitute for chicken broth, here.