As we spring into the New Year, this harissa paste recipe is certain to warm you to the bones during those cold nights. Brimming with warming spices, a hearty and garlicky toasted bread, and full of good old veg, this amazing recipe will not only come in at a savvy cost. It will also be made and on the table within 30 minutes. Most of the ingredients in this spiced butter bean stew recipe are easy to find in your local supermarket, but just in case you’re panicking about finding harissa paste, we’ll show you how to make your own on a budget.
How to make a budget-friendly harissa paste recipe
This spiced beauty, originating in North Africa, gives a warming and earthy kick to any dish. Making your own spicy harissa paste from a recipe is dead easy but takes about 30 minutes and will make far more than you need. Our simple Harissa paste alternative recipe is less authentic but does the job using store cupboard ingredients within 5 minutes. You’ll only need a few simple items to conjure it up and serve alongside a great value red wine.
Quick Harissa Paste Alternative Recipe for Spiced Butter Bean Stew
Half a cup of light olive oil
2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon vinegar (any will do)
2.5 tablespoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of cayenne
1 teaspoon of salt
6–10 of pressed garlic cloves (alternatively 1 teaspoon of dried garlic granules)
Once you’ve sourced the above ingredients from your cupboards, all you need to do is mix them together in a bowl and you have your savvy, budget, cheat harissa paste. I highly recommend trying this out before you go through the effort and additional expense of buying numerous fresh chillies, peppers and other ingredients for your harissa. Another alternative is you can use smaller tubes or jars of harissa which can be bought from produce stores or online.
Now you’ve got your harissa pasta, learn how to make the main spiced butter bean stew
The recipe below is aimed at two people. Simply add double the amounts of ingredients listed in order to cater for four. This recipe makes the most of the contrast between the warming spiced harissa butter bean stew, salty cavolo nero and a beautiful crumbed feta.
The ingredient list for spiced harissa and cavolo nero stew
- 100g feta or greek-style cheese
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2-3 tablespoons of homemade harissa pasta (see method above)
- 100g fresh cavolo nero or spring greens
- 1 standard tin or carton of butter beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 carton passata or finely chopped tomatoes
- vegetable stock pods/powder (enough to make 250ml)
- Around 40g Panko breadcrumbs (or toast and scrape bread 4-5 times if unable to find)
- 100ml fresh water
- 1 decent sized Italian style bread (ciabatta will do)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons apple vinegar or mirin
- 40g of lambs lettuce, pea shoots or similar.
Homemade Easy Harissa Butter Bean Stew Method
Once you’ve got all of the ingredients ready, this harissa recipe should take around 25-30 minutes to make. This includes 5 minutes to make the harissa paste recipe mentioned earlier and another 20-25 minutes for the main recipe below.
1. Starting off with the basics.
You’ll have already made your harissa paste, so the next step is to prep your garlic. Simply take the cloves and top and tail the bitter tips of each clove with a sharp knife. Gently bash the cloves of garlic with the flat side of your knife and then peel after the skin is loosened by this assault.
Grate or finely chop the cloves.
Cut the Italian style bread such as focaccia, ciabatta or similar along their length (like a sandwich) and then to one side crumble the greek style feta cheese into a pile ready for later on.
Meanwhile, turn on your oven to 180C, ready for later.
2. Time to turn up the heat
In a large based, non-stick pan. Heat a small amount of light olive oil on a medium to high heat. Once the oil moves freely at temperature, chuck most of the garlic in and allow the aromas to be released before adding the cavolo nero or spring greens. Make sure you season the pan well with a good sprinkling of salt.
Carefully add a few tablespoons of water to the pan to begin wilting the cavolo nero or spring green. Again, do this carefully as the water may spit oil from the pan when it hits the heat.
Turn up the heat to high for 3 minutes.
3. Spiced butter bean bonanza
If you haven’t already rinsed the butter beans, do so now. Add them to the pan along with the simmering stew.
Next, we’re going to spice the stew up. Pop in the homemade harissa paste you made earlier, along with the passata, tomato paste, water and vegetable stock paste from the ingredients list.
Stir the spiced harissa stew constantly until the mixture comes to the boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and allow the stew to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
4. Let’s get toasty
Take your panko breadcrumbs (or your homemade toasted crumb from the toaster if you’re struggling to find panko or need a cheaper alternative) and pop them into another hot pan with another drizzle of olive oil. You’ll need roughly 40g, but don’t stress if you have less.
Keep the crumbs moving around until they start to turn a golden colour and crisp up. This will happen suddenly, so keep an eye to remove them to a piece of kitchen roll to drain once they’ve gained their crispy goodness.
After any excess oil has soaked off, pop the panko breadcrumbs into a bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper and mix in the crumbled greek style feta cheese.
5. Into the oven with the recipe for the harissa paste stew
Now for you’re crunchy and aromatic easy garlic bread. Pop the remaining garlic, adding extra garlic powder/granules if you like it strong, to a bowl with the olive oil amount listed in the ingredients.
Mix together with salt and pepper and then place your sliced Italian style ciabatta bread onto a baking sheet and tray. Spread the garlic mixture you’ve made onto the sliced side of the bread and place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until toasted nicely.
6. Bringing the spiced harissa and butter bean stew together
Pour the olive oil, apple vinegar (or mirin) into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Add in the pea shoots or lambs lettuce and mix thoroughly to combine the mixture and coat the salad evenly.
Grab a couple of bowls and heap the steaming, spiced harissa butter bean and spring green stew into them with a large spoon.
You can either sprinkle the crispy crumbed feta mix over the top of this or serve it alongside.
Finally, grab your garlic bread from the oven and slice it into diagonal chunks or half into triangles.
Serve these alongside the stew with your fresh salad in the remaining space.