Harissa is a North African flavouring most commonly used as a condiment enjoyed with meat, vegetables or grains like cous cous. It is made with a base of tomatoes, capsicum added mild spices.
• Gluten free
• Made in New Zealand
• Keep refrigerated once opened
I don't actively seek out anything with a bit of spice to it, my kids aren't into foods with a bit of a kick to them and I'm only just starting to enjoy it myself, but I thought I would take a step away from my usual and give this a good try. I really liked the overall layout of the label and the illustrations are lovely. I like that the 'heat' rating is so easy to spot and and nice and clear as to how hot you should expect it. It is also worth nothing that this is vegan, which is nice as so many sauces have little bits of animal product added when I'm sure they could do so easily without it.
Opening this up I could instantly smell the red capsicum, gave it a tentative taste and thought it wasn't too bad overall. My first time using this I put it on a wrap with a little cheese and spaghetti before popping it in the oven till the cheese melted. The sauce added a nice element to the dish changing it from something that was just for a quick dish to something a little more elevated for this tired out mumma. I have a favourite dish that I make, pasta, garlic (lots please), onion, mushroom and parmesan, having dealt out everyone a serving, I decided to put some of this on my dish to see if it tasted just as nice cold. I have to say that although I found it a little too hot for me, just a little was all that was needed and added a nice touch to the dish.
This is a nice sauce, and given that I don't want too much heat added to my dish, it will go a long way and get lots of use out of it. I'm still not sure if I will buy myself a bottle when it runs out, but for now I am enjoying the versatile sauce.
We are huge sauce fans in our family, and I have to admit I am slightly addicted to trying all the new sauces especially Barkers sauces as there are always new flavours to try, alongside our firm favourites. My fridge is pretty packed with a variety of Barkers sauces and dressings to keep everyone happy with a sauce they like with different meals. For me Harissa sauce is absolutely delicious and having tried a few I have to say I was very fond of this one by Barkers.
While a lot milder than Harissa sauces I have tried in the past that can definitely have a bit of a burn this still had all the flavour and tasted authentic and naturally made. As with other Barkers products you can literally see and taste the natural ingredients and know that there are quality products used to make the sauce. My youngest son who usually sticks to tomato sauce actually enjoyed this being mild enough for him to taste the tomato. He referred to it as a tomato chutney sauce and has put in a good effort to devour a lot of the bottle with various meals.
Harissa is a perfect pairing with lamb in my experience so we had this with some lamb steak cut into strips and made into wraps with salad and it was devine. Having a vegan sister having sauces that she can eat so I don't have to do to much modification to the menu when she visits is great so I was very appreciative to read that this was vegan friendly too.
I think this is the nicest harissa sauce I have ever tried. Eight of us tested it over several days and not one person made a negative comment. Although full of flavour, it is unusually mild for a harissa which meant it appealed even to the youngest child who normally stays well away from "hot" food. Although not a tomato sauce in the conventional sense (it is worlds apart from the sort of highly coloured "sauce" you get with fundraising sausage sizzles and which is often used rather too liberally by children), it is nonetheless firmly tomato-based. As such it has a wide range of applications, from pizza topping, to meat dishes, and even to bolognaise and seafood sauces.
We had the remains of a lamb roast so decided to try the harissa sauce out first on simple wraps. These were simple enough for the children to assemble so we gave them the ingredients and the adults watched on. The children added a layer of salad vegetables on a Farrah's wrap, then a layer of preheated chopped meat, and finally decorated the mixture with a liberal serving of harissa sauce. They then rolled each wrap into a cylinder and put them into a sandwich press to warm the wrap through. They made enough for two each, although not everybody could finish both as they were quite filling. This was voted a huge success.
After the wraps, we tried the sauce mixed with homemade mayonnaise to make a Thousand Island dressing. To this we added cooked prawns, chopped onion, and chopped celery. This was just as successful as the wraps, and something we will have again because it is easy to put together and looks incredible. One of the children topped the mixture with a sprig of parsley to make it look pretty (her words!)
The last dish we have made to date was an old-fashioned sausage sizzle - but made at home on our friends' barbecue, using the harissa sauce to top the sausage and onions in place of conventional tomato sauce. The sausages we chose were precooked so we had only to brown them and make sure they were heated through. Precooked sausages are often very bland, so the addition of the harissa sauce gave them plenty of zing. The children really went to town on these, eating three apiece (with the compulsory slice of white bread!) and the youngest even forgot that she does not usually like fried onions.
Will I buy this product again? I just might have to as we completely drained the review bottle and need to organise two replacement bottles as soon as possible. One for my friends, and another for myself when I am back at home!
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