My mother came to visit me last week and we went to a couple of really neat specialty shops – Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegars and the Savory Spice Shop. We were in the shopping center specifically to go to Con ‘Olio and we accidentally walked in the Savory Spice Shop. It was right next door and I had never been to either one and just walked into the place with the spices in the windows. My mother and I were like kids in a candy store. 🙂
I was really interested in trying a recipe that would showcase the red pepper flakes and the Harissa flavor in the olive oil. While I was out shopping at Central Market, I grabbed some mozzarella balls and knew that’s what I wanted to do with my flakes!
In a plastic sandwich bag, I mixed up about 1/3 ounce of red pepper flakes, a dash of chili powder (the flakes are relatively mild), paprika and kosher salt. Then I poured in about 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup of the Harissa olive oil, and about 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Once I mixed it all up in the bag and coated the mozzarella balls really well, I poured them back into the container they came in and let them marinate. I put them in the refrigerator overnight, then brought them to room temperature and let them soak for a while today before I used them.
They were just spicy enough that you needed a drink with them, but they taste wonderful! The Harissa is a chile sauce as well, but again, none of these are over a 5 on a 1-10 heat scale. The flavors together made a wonderful mix on pasta. I didn’t take a picture of that, but I made some cappellini and tossed in some mozzarella balls and the olive oil mix for a wonderful lunch. I love both the olive oil and the red pepper flakes and I am glad I tried them out this way. I have some other ideas for them in the future. 🙂