Make Ahead

Bryant Terry's Mustard Green Harissa

January 14, 2014
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 1 cup
Author Notes

We've misunderstood mustard greens this whole time. (We were thinking greens, when we should have been thinking mustard.) Instead of setting them loose in a salad bowl and willing everything else to keep up, try capturing and channeling their heat, and bottling it -- as mustard green harissa. Use it anywhere your food needs livening up. Terry recommends incorporating a few tablespoons when cooking couscous and grains, and using it as a flavor base for soups, stews, and marinades. We also liked it in dressings for roasted vegetables. Adapted slightly from Afro-Vegan (Ten Speed Press, 2014). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt (divided)
  • 1 cup packed chopped mustard greens
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 tablespoons chopped jalapeño chiles (seeds and ribs removed only if you want it less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  1. Put about 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, then add the mustard greens. Return to a boil and cook uncovered until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Warm the oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. In the same skillet, toast the coriander and cumin, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.
  4. Transfer the powder to a blender (we found a mini-food processor works best). Add the jalapeños, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, water, mustard greens, garlic oil, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth.
  5. Taste and season with more salt if desired. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laura Cassato Roe
    Laura Cassato Roe
  • may1girl
  • Knitting Lawyer
    Knitting Lawyer
  • gingerroot
  • Patti
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

12 Reviews

Laura C. June 17, 2019
I’ve made this twice recently and it is really good! I grow mustard greens and picked them young, so I didn’t think I’d need to blanch them. Instead I just added them with the garlic and olive oil to wilt them then blended it all up. It’s really good on grilled fish and burgers!
may1girl December 2, 2015
Wondering if this would freeze well or not.
Kristen M. December 2, 2015
may1girl December 2, 2015
Thanks! Anything that says harissa gets me excited, so being able to freeze it will be a great help.
ZenDawg October 21, 2015
Greens, any kind, can be simple to make. I'm Italian and the way my grandmother always cooked them was to rinse them and throw in a pot or deep skillet with a bit of water to sauté/steam them (lid on or slightly open). Once tender add chopped or minced garlic, sea salt, ground pepper. When garlic is cooked, turn heat to low, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the greens, warm the mixture and turn off burner. That's it. We just had mustard greens from the garden prepared this way two days ago. Delicious as always. You can do this with any greens, from Swiss chard to spinach to dandelion. My grandparents used to get dandelion greens from their neighbors lawns, much to the embarrassment of my mom!
Shari K. March 25, 2015
I served this with beef. Our guests raved about it. The bowl looked like it had been licked clean and several asked for the recipe.
Knitting L. November 26, 2014
I'd like to make some as gifts - would this stuff be suitable for canning?
Kristen M. November 26, 2014
I don't think there's enough acid to safely water-bath can this, unfortunately.
gingerroot May 18, 2014
I've been wanting to try this for a while now and finally did today. I'm taking it to an event tomorrow but wow, what a fabulous sauce! I'm only sorry I didn't try it sooner.
pearl February 12, 2014
i just made this and glad i did. tastes great. but i take issue with one of your instructions: i pureed until smooth and now it looks nothing like the picture. it is even a bit emulsified from the oil. looks much more like a pesto. should've figured out myself that was going to happen. i might try not using the blender next time. nonetheless, it was great tossed with spaghetti squash and feta!
Patti January 18, 2014
I just have the ground cumin and coriander - how do I substitute? This sounds great to use in my tagine recipes!
Kristen M. January 18, 2014
It's tough to give an exact conversion, but I would start with about half the amount of each, and toast them lightly in the pan to bring out the flavor. Hope you like it! Your tagines sound like great places for it to go.