Harissa, North Africa’s most recognized hot sauce, is usually brick red from the dried red chiles that get pulverized along with spices and oil into a rich and complex paste. Spices include caraway, coriander, cumin, and occasionally rose petals. This variation is bright green thanks to the fresh coriander (cilantro) and green chiles and gets a creamy boost from sour cream for balance.
- ½ cup bulgur wheat
- Boiling water
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 persian cucumber, diced
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
- ½ to 1 serrano chile, depending on heat preference, stemmed and seeded
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 10 to 12 ounces king or coho salmon, cut into 2 pieces, pin bones removed
- 2 naan breads
Make the Tabbouleh
In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup boiling water. Cover and let sit until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato, cucumber, parsley, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Make the Harissa
In a blender or food processor, purée the cilantro, serrano chile, garlic, caraway, cumin, and ¼ cup of the oil until smooth. Add the sour cream and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the Salmon and Naan
Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and oil the grates. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, rub all over with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the naan with oil.
Add the salmon to the grill, skin-side up and cook, turning once until lightly charred and the skin is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of the fillet. Avoid turning the fish until it easily releases from the grates and is lightly charred. Add the naan to the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes.
Spoon some of the harissa over the fish and serve the tabbouleh and naan alongside. Enjoy!
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Spice it Up (or Down)
Serrano and jalapeño chiles can be pretty spicy. For a less fiery harissa, substitute some or all of them with mild banana chiles or cubanelles.
Change it Up
This sauce is great on fish, but you’ll find many other delicious ways to enjoy it — chicken, lamb burgers, grilled crusty bread, fried halloumi cheese, or even a super deluxe BLT.
Lighten it Up
Fat-free yogurt lacks the creamy mouthfeel of its full-fat counterpart, so opt for whole milk yogurt for a slightly reduced-fat alternative to sour cream.
Pair it Up
Grapes like Assyrtiko in Greek white wines are bright and crisp and have a refreshing minerality, perfect for pairing with the Mediterranean flavors of this dish.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.