Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Messpin it!Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Messpin it!Toasting spices - The First messpin it!Potatoes & prep - The First Messpin it!

It’s been a while! I feel like I keep saying that. Since I was last here, I went on a wonderful weekend trip to Portland with a friend, I celebrated my 33rd birthday, finished this book + this book (affiliate links! Just so ya know), and have just been doing some quality Winter nesting.

We ate so much great food in Portland! Coffee at Stumptown was great. Naturally we hit up Tusk and Ava Gene’s because Joshua McFadden and his food style just rules. We had great bowl food (and deep chlorophyll-y green lemonade!) at Prasad Cafe. I had this eggplant dip/spread that left a deeply vivid impression on me at Shalom Y’all (might have to recreate soon). Quality tea lattes were had at Tea Bar and delicious togarashi-spiced avocado toast was enjoyed at Locale. Oh, and I had one of the better vegan ice cream experiences of my life at Eb & Bean. It also helped that we randomly ran into Dana of Minimalist Baker while we were there. Total serendipity!

We walked through the Portland Japanese Garden, which was honestly the most wonderful thing. I had spent the day flying and wanted to be surrounded in trees, moss, nature sounds, the smell of vegetation, and just that living and breathing sense of life in real time. I always try to do something in nature at the end of a flying day as a way to happily adjust to the new surroundings. When I do this and take care to drink plenty of water and herbal tea on the plane, it’s all smooth sailing, energy for days, and sound sleep when the time comes.

We hit some great shops as well: Field Trip, Solabee Flowers, North of West, Alder & Co., and my fave of them all Pistils Nursery. I came home with a gorgeous piece of labraodrite that glows like the northern lights, a very gentle tarot deck, a suncatcher prism, some very important hot sauce, and a new toiletry bag to go with my forever dependable Filson carry-on. We leaned on Alison Wu’s excellent Portland travel guide if you’re planning a trip soon ;)

Anyway! Now that you know my entire life story from that weekend (hehe), let’s jump to today’s recipe. We had these loaded fries the first night in Portland. They had tahini sauce, zhoug, fresh dill, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember. I loved them, but I also remember wishing that they were a bit sloppier. Maybe it’s the Canadian built-in preference for poutine or something?

I don’t really fry at home, so this roasted potato situation with za’atar, slightly saucy harissa chickpeas, greens, and tahini sauce is what I’ve happily settled on here. Definitely a bowl food vibe, and definitely simple enough for weeknight enjoyment. rather than making a traditional harissa paste, we kind of just build those same flavours as we cook the chickpeas. Also, just need to add that potatoes are pretty much the best wherever you find them. Hilariously, this is yet ANOTHER chickpea, stewed tomato deal from me (see here, here, here + here). Can you tell it’s still deep winter here?! Love going out to you all anyway ;)

My very old spice grinder - The First Messpin it!Harissa spices & tahini swirls - The First Messpin it!Pre-tomatoes - The First Messpin it!Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Messpin it!Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Messpin it!


Print the recipe here!
SERVES: 3 hearty portions or 4 smaller ones ;)
NOTES: If you don’t have a spice grinder, use the same amount of ground cumin, coriander, caraway seed, and chili flakes. If you can’t find it in ground form, whole caraway seed is fine too.
-I know that plenty of people are kinda “meh” on caraway, feel free to leave it out!
-The amount of chili here gives the chickpea mix a good amount of heat. If you’re sensitive to spice, I’d cut it back to half a teaspoon.
-Anytime I post a recipe with tahini, I just feel compelled to call out my favourite tahini ever by Soom.
-I like to make the tahini sauce first, so that I have it out of the way, and also the flavours get to marry a bit. You could fix it up while the potatoes roast if you prefer.

¼ cup tahini
¼ cup filtered water
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely minced (or grated with a Microplane)
1 teaspoon olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 ½ lbs new potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon heat-tolerant oil, like avocado
1 teaspoon za’atar

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon heat-tolerant oil, like avocado
1 shallot, fine dice (about ⅓ cup diced shallot)
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 15-ounce can, drained)
1 cup crushed canned tomatoes (I like fire-roasted here)
¼ cup filtered water (+ extra if necessary)

4 big handfuls of chopped mixed greens
olive oil
fresh lemon juice
extra za’atar
⅓ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Make the lemon-y tahini. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once combined and seasoned to your liking, set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch thick wedges or cubes and transfer them to a large baking sheet. Toss them with the oil, za’atar, salt, and pepper. Place potatoes in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until tender and golden brown, flipping them once at the halfway point.

Make the harissa chickpeas. In a deep skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin, coriander, caraway, and chili flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer spiced to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Grind spices to a rough powder and set aside.

Place the skillet back on the heat and pour the oil in. Add the shallot to the skillet and saute until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ground spice mixture and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas to skillet and stir to coat the chickpeas. Add the crushed tomatoes and water to the chickpeas and stir to combine. Season harissa chickpeas with salt and pepper. Bring the harissa chickpeas to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and let chickpeas cook for 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary. You want the chickpeas to be saucy, but not fluid like a soup.

While chickpeas are simmering, toss the greens with olive oil, lemon juice, pinches of za’atar, sale, and pepper.

To serve, divide warm potatoes among plates. Top with harissa chickpeas, tahini sauce, piles of dressed greens, and chopped parsley.

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  • Angela08/03/2018 - 4:14 am

    Sounds like you had a great time here in “P” town. Where did you have the loaded fries? looks amazingReplyCancel

    • Laura08/03/2018 - 9:05 am

      We had the loaded fries at Shalom Y’all! It was such a great spot in general too.

  • Patricia Scarpin08/03/2018 - 7:24 am

    What a beautiful dish! Give me anything with chickpeas and I am a happy camper! With all those spices I can only imagine the amazing smell your kitchen had when you were preparing this food!ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Lea08/03/2018 - 8:26 am

    This looks perfect for this snowy day in New England. I think I have all the ingredients on hand so will be making this tonight.ReplyCancel

  • Sonia08/03/2018 - 8:35 am

    Looks so good. Do you like the premium or organic version of the tahini? Everytime I buy tahini I’m disappointed by the bitterness, but from Soom’s website it sounds like theirs isn’t. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/03/2018 - 9:04 am

      Hi Sonia!
      I get the organic version of Soom. It only has the tiniest edge of bitterness, which is kind of balancing in a way. Leaps and miles ahead of most tahini. It’s just nutty and smooth, and I honestly find ways to eat it with everything haha.

      • Sonia08/03/2018 - 10:06 pm

        Thank you! I am definitely going to try it.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Hughes08/03/2018 - 11:10 am

    This looks so yummy and comforting! Oddly, since transitioning to vegan, I find myself eating potatoes LESS, in favor of rice, noodles, and other carbs/grains. I just never think to make them anymore. Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/03/2018 - 11:19 am

      I went through a phase like that when I first went entirely plant-based as well! So funny. But then I remembered how amazing potatoes are haha.

  • Sarah | Well and Full08/03/2018 - 11:31 am

    I was following along with your adventures in Portland on IG and it looks fantastic. The Japanese gardens especially. Glad to have you back, this recipe looks killer! :)ReplyCancel

  • mich08/03/2018 - 11:39 am

    Awww such a nice recap of our #girlstriiiiiip. Can’t wait to make this next week – exactly what I want to eat right now.ReplyCancel

  • Kaley08/03/2018 - 7:36 pm

    Just whipped this up for dinner! So simple and delicious. Thanks for sharing!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Cassie Thuvan Tran08/03/2018 - 9:20 pm

    A Japanese garden in Portland?! I’m so jealous of you! Back when I visited Japan last year, the gardens were my favorite part of exploring the country! So beautiful and tranquilizing.
    This Harissa chickpea bowl looks fantastic! I love the combination of potatoes, chickpeas, Harissa sauce, and plenty of other greens. Makes the perfect dinner for two as well!ReplyCancel

  • Ann08/03/2018 - 10:44 pm

    Thank you for coming back. We missed you and your new recipesReplyCancel

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek09/03/2018 - 7:34 am

    Hope you had a great birthday and rest! This is the sort of meal I revel in this time of year. Half winter, half spring, these flavors and components are perfect for in between seasons! Thanks for sharing–I’ll be making this one v v soon :)ReplyCancel

  • Ella Frances12/03/2018 - 2:11 pm

    This looks so delicious! I have recently fallen in deep love with harissa and put it on everything! I am excited to try this recipe. Have you made this ahead of time for prepared meals/lunches?

    Thank you for sharing,
    Ella FrancesReplyCancel

  • Lily13/03/2018 - 11:10 am

    This was good—warming, nutritious, and tasty. But gosh I had to add way more lemon zest and juice to get enough lemon-y flavor to contrast with the harissa. The zaatar was lost entirely. There is a lot of taste competition going on, and it seems that tomato and chili flakes win in the end. But still a yummy blend of things, and the creaminess from the tahini dressing was great.ReplyCancel

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