This is one of my favorite ways to eat zucchini, and a tasty way to use leftover chicken. Without the chicken, this makes a wonderful vegetarian sandwich. Harissa is a delicious North African chile and spice paste that is traditionally used as a rub for lamb or goat. First created in Tunisia when the Spaniards brought chiles to the Old World from the New, harissa’s use spread to Algeria, Morocco and the Middle East, with many variations. It tastes great on just about anything, and it’s easy to make with New Mexico red chile, but you can also buy it at some grocery stores. Local churro lamb is a great place to start for any variation of this rub.
4 small zucchini
1 medium red onion
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1 T. harissa (See recipe below.)
2 cooked chicken breasts or thighs, sliced
Slice zucchini and onions into 1/2-inch strips or chunks, and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast in a 400˚ oven for 25-30 minutes (or fry in a skillet on medium heat), until the onions are soft and sweet with nice brown spots. Very gently, mix in the chicken and harissa, then chill. At the picnic, cut the baguette into four evenly-sized chunks. Split and stuff each piece with the chicken and zucchini mixture to make four sandwiches.
1/4 C. New Mexico red chile powder
1/4 C. boiling water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1/4 C. olive oil
Pour hot water over chile and add remaining ingredients. Purée in a blender to make a smooth paste. Refrigerate unused portion in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks. Caraway is also a traditional ingredient, but it doesn’t usually come ground. If you want to try it, you can grind the seeds yourself and use about 1 teaspoon in this recipe.