If you checked out the post on Harissa, you’ll know that mine came out spicy enough that I decided to use it only sparingly, not piling it on everything like I imagined I wanted to. I still have dreams of harissa marinated lamb chops and chicken wings but I haven't permanently numbed my tongue enough to use mine as anything more than a background note for now.
Anyway, I successfully used the Harissa on these sandwiches and didn't die. The idea for these was born after I made this preserved lemon cashew cream, which is freaking amazing but the recipe made a ton. Here's my thought process after realizing how much cashew cream I was left with:
Hmm, I didn’t really use that much on my fries.
How long does this stuff keep? I'd better use it up soon.
But, preserved lemon. Am I really going to want to put that on everything?
…let me try it on this black bean burger.
Ok, new plan.
Preserved lemon. Preserved lemon. Preserved lemon…
Moroccan sandwich! With lamb! Wait but it’s cashew cream, vegan, ok, what’s vegan? Tempeh!
Morrocan spiced tempeh! Ooh on a pita with this and harissa! I’ll make harissa!
That chain of thought is pretty much Exhibit A of why I felt the need to start a food blog.
Moroccan Spiced Tempeh Pitas with Harissa and Preserved Lemon Cream
1 package tempeh
Olive oil (enough to coat)
Moroccan spice mix (I used at least a tablespoon but add it to your taste)
Preserved Lemon Cream
Pickled Red Onions (how-to below)
Pickled Red Onions
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar (or more if you want sweeter pickles)
- Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Pour over onions and set aside at least 30 min or until needed. Store in the refrigerator.
Once you have all your components, the sandwiches are super easy and quick to assemble.
- Cut the tempeh into wedges and toss with a little olive oil and the spice mix. Then pan fry the tempeh wedges on both sides until golden.
- Stuff in a pita with baby spinach leaves, harissa, preserved lemon cashew cream, and pickled red onions. Enjoy while hot! If your harissa is as spicy as mine, add more cashew cream as you go, as needed.
I made these vegan, but if you’re a committed carnivore I think these would be just as excellent with lamb or chicken. If cashew cream frightens you, preserved lemon blended with greek yogurt would be a good substitute.