I love the combination of sweet and spicy, with a little bit of salt; it's perfect because it satisfies all of my cravings. This recipe combines the spiciness of harissa, the sweetness of agave, and the delicious flavor of pumpkin and sesame seeds to make the perfect snackable treat. It's perfectly delicious on its own, but if you can manage to stop yourself from munching, they are delicious mixed into homemade caramel popcorn with pistachios, a little extra harissa to taste, and bite-sized pieces of dried mango, papaya and pineapple.
spicy caramel popcorn with harissa pepitas, pistachios,
sesame seeds, and dried tropical fruit
Harissa is a traditional North African paste made with dried chilies, garlic, oil, salt, and various spices such as cumin, coriander, caraway and cinnamon. You can buy harissa paste already made, but it isn't difficult to make your own, and it's much less expensive (try this easy recipe, which is the one I used on my pepitas).
3 tablespoons harissa paste
2 tablespoons agave nectar
a tiny bit (about 1 t) oil
2/3 cups pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
a couple pinches of salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, mix harissa, oil, and agave into a paste. Add pumpkin seeds and coat well. Spread out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. Toast for about 5 minutes and then stir. Continue toasting about 5-8 minutes more, or until the seeds are toasted and significantly less sticky.