If you were to travel to Morocco and order a salad in some exotic souk, you'd likely get a melded cooked dish with several different savory components - think eggplant, sautéed greens, seasoned carrots - a North African antipasto. And the dish will likely vary from one restaurant to the next. Our Moroccan Salad combines the classic crisp American salad with the bold, piquant spices of the Berber culture and salty olives, cooling mint, plump couscous and parsley that's adored throughout the region.
But the spotlight is reserved for our Harissa Shrimp.
Harissa is the North African condiment, bursting with roasted red peppers and an array of spices. I tossed several perfectly cooked wild Georgia shrimp in skillet with a generous helping of Harissa.
The brightness of the dressing along with the depth and heat of the Harissa gives the salad a unique Moroccan identity.
Of course, you can substitute the shrimp for just about any protein you like. Just be sure to add the Harissa sauce to your protein after it has been cooked.
Mint and parsley along with lemon zest are essential to making this recipe work, so be sure to follow the recipe as too much will overpower the salad.
Pause for a moment on that last picture of the shrimp. See how the edges are curled just ever so slightly? When you take a bite of a shrimp like that, you can expect it to be tender and plump. Then when the Harissa hits the middle of your tongue, you'll feel a slight warmth, then a bit of a tang, ending in a slow, delectable burn. Now imagine some mint, cool couscous and crisp romaine on the same fork. Yeah, I swooned a bit, too.
Falls in love with delicate glass of Maghrebi mint tea
Stir dreams of ferry rides across the Strait of Gibraltar
In the spice chest, you'll find coriander, parsley, mint and lemon zest
Suggestions and Alternatives:
- For this recipe, you can substitute chopped romaine for mixed greens or even chopped spinach.
- Coat your protein with Harissa after it has been cooked, if you add the Harissa to raw protein and then cook it, you will burn the Harissa Sauce, and your protein will taste scorched.
- Please try and serve the salad as soon as possible, the lemon juice and olive oil will wilt your romaine in about 5 minutes. You want that sweet crunch of chopped romaine lettuce.
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Moroccan Salad [with Harissa Shrimp]
- 2 large English cucumbers diced
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- 2 heads romaine chopped
- 2 whole Roma tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup red onion shaved
- 10 whole olives pitted
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley chopped
- 10 mint leaves torn
- 3 lemons juiced
- 1 lemon zest
- 4 teaspoons coriander ground
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 16 whole shrimps peeled / de-veined
- 4 tablespoons Harissa Sauce
- 1/4 cup Israeli couscous quality
- Under cold water wash and dry 2 heads romaine lettuce to fine chop in medium size bowl.
- Dice 2 large Roma tomatoes and add to bowl.
- Using a box grater Peel and shred 1 large carrot and add to bowl.
- Using a mandolin, thinly shave red onion and place in ice bath.
- Let sit for at least 10 minutes then strain and set aside.
- Bring 2 cups salted water to a rapid boil.
- Add 1/4 cup Israeli couscous and cook for 8 minutes, or until done.
- Strain couscous and add to medium size bowl, add 2 tbs. olive oil to coat and cool for 5 minutes in refrigerator.
- Chop 1/2 bunch parsley, 10 mint leaves and the zest of 1 lemon to bowl.
- Add 4 teaspoons ground coriander and chopped olives.
- Combine all ingredients and couscous to romaine lettuce. set aside.
- Wash, peel and devein 9 large 31/35 fresh shrimp
- Using a large size cast iron saute pan add 2 tbs. olive oil and get pan to medium high heat, at least 5 minutes.
- Once pan starts to smoke add shrimps and cook stirring until the shrimps start to curl, about 3 minutes.
- once all shrimp have seared on both sides, remove from heat and add 4 tablespoons Harissa sauce, making sure all shrimps are coated.
- Toss salad with 3 tbs. olive oil, add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and the juice of 2 lemons.
- Divide salad by four and place 4 shrimps to each.
- Serve immediately, If you let this salad sit for more than 10 minutes the lemon juice will "wilt" the Romaine lettuce.
Nancy L. says
The salad looks delicious and while I've never tried Harissa sauce, the spicy tangy sauce sounds like a delicious accompaniment to the shrimp and salad. My mint plants have also taken off this year and I can't wait to use it in some recipes. I will be looking for the Harissa sauce and trying this recipe very soon!
Elaine @ Dishes Delish says
Yummy. This Moroccan salad looks so delicious! I love finding new ways to eat shrimp! Thanks for the recipe!
This look delicious! We love shrimp and I love how easy this sald is to prepare. I have never tried Harissa sauce before, I 'm going to make this for sure!
Ali Rost says
In the summertime we eat some sort of salad nearly every evening for dinner. This one looks divine. In fact, Harissa is one of our favorites. I order it online .. mild for me and spicy for my husband. Adding your recipe to next week's menu!
Now, this looks so good! I love how fresh and vibrant the veggies and that shrimp would be to die for, I am going to have try it out at our next cookout.
Luci's Morsels says
This looks so good and I love how guilt free it is, at just a hair over 300 calories per serving. I am definitely going to try this. Thank you for sharing! Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.
I have an unopened jar of harissa in my cupboard that definitely needs to be used. This dish looks like the perfect way to utilize it - love shrimp!
Mindy Fewless says
Those shrimp are perfection!!
Noel Lizotte says
I love the colors in this salad! So tempting ... you just know it's full of flavor. Salads are definitely at the top of my menu planning during the summer months. This one is going into the rotation!
Celeste W says
This would make the best summer dish. The kids thankfully, love fish and shrimp and with them out of school we are always looking for quick healthy recipes like this salad.
I haven't tried Harissa before but it seems so tasty! I like the bright orange color of the shrimps and the texture looks succulent. This is such a great recipe!
My Teen Guide says
The last photo of the shrimp had me drooling. I wish I saw this recipe earlier. I just finished making dinner and we're having butter-garlic spicy shrimp. I guess we'll be having shrimp again tomorrow. I just got to try your recipe!
liz Cleland says
This looks so delicious. Perfect light and filling meal for the summer time! I do not want to spend much time in front of a hot oven or stove so great choice!
Deborah Cruz says
This looks absolutely delicious. We love Moroccan food because of the pairings of flavors but I've never made it myself. This recipe has made me decide to give it a try. I have never heard of Harissa but the photos of this salad alone have convinced me that anything that looks that delectable must taste amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I pinned it for later.