I’ve grown up eating cuisines from different cultures. My mother was an excellent cook and often tried out new recipes on her more than willing guinea pigs. We travelled extensively and holiday itineraries were always planned around food; from simple picnics in the park sourced from local farmer’s markets to three hour drives to posh Michelin star restaurants, we knew that our taste buds were in for a treat!
It’s no secret why I have a love of food but having eaten so many different cuisines, I really enjoy melding together different flavors. My most recent “experiment” was a simple butter salmon recipe from the New York Times to which I added my own recipe of roasted vegetables on toasted pita bread topped with a harissa sauce.
The buttery salmon recipe was as amazing as the 586 five-star ratings proclaimed. I used much less butter than the recipe called for (about 3 tbsp for two large fillets) and melted it with some dill to make a delicious sauce for the salmon. You can’t go wrong with a butter sauce and though you can use any herb, dill goes especially well with seafood.
In Berkeley, there’s a wonderful vegetable market called Monterey Market, next to my son’s preschool. This summer, squash has been on display in bold beautiful colors. I picked the vegetables based on their colors; green zucchini which I eat regularly, yellow squash to brighten up the dish, and red bell pepper for a punch of color! I cut them up, seasoned them with some salt and garlic, and sprinkled them with olive oil. While the vegetables were roasting in the oven, I created a harissa greek yogurt sauce by adding a generous teaspoon of harissa, and some salt. Harissa is a chilli pepper paste typically found in North African cuisines such as Morocco and Tunisia. It is a bright red color, has a lovely smokey pepper flavor, and has just the right amount of kick to brighten up a dish.
Roasted vegetables on pita bread with this spicy sauce is a great lunch dish in itself but if you’re doing dinner it’s great to pair with something that has a milder or more subtle flavor such as the salmon with butter sauce I made for dinner last night.
It’s a great summer dish; quick, simple, colorful, and packed with flavor!
Recipe for Roasted Vegetables & Harissa Recipe (for 2 ppl)
- 2 yellow squash
- 2 zucchini
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 3 Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Greek Yogurt
- Harissa paste (1 tsp)
- Pita bread
- Preheat the oven to 375 C
- Cut the squash, zucchini, and bell pepper into thin slices
- Chop up the garlic cloves and add them to the squash in a bowl
- Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil and give the mixture a good toss.
- Lay the vegetables out on a baking sheet and leave in the oven for 30 mins or until the vegetables begin to crisp up.
- In the mean time add a tsp of harissa paste and a bit of salt to the greek yogurt and give it a good stir. Add the harissa a little bit at a time until you achieve the spiciness you would like.
- When the vegetables are almost done put the pita bread in the oven to toast.
- Add the vegetables and top it with the harissa sauce.
Salmon Roasted in Butter Recipe