Bursting with smoky, zesty, and exotic flavors, this unique dish features harissa sauce: a spicy North African condiment made from red chiles, garlic, olive oil, and spices. You can purchase harissa in ready-made jars at most supermarkets.

Serves four.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 pound Texas wild-caught shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chermoula sauce (see recipe)
  • harissa grits (see recipe)

Chermoula Sauce (Makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (packed) fresh mint, chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Harissa Grits (Makes 4 cups)

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup grits
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup harissa sauce


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and toss in the garlic, cherry tomatoes, peas, and shrimp. Sauté the shrimp for about five to six minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked all the way through so that they are no longer opaque in the center. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper accordingly.
  • Divide the shrimp mixture evenly between four warm plates and serve alongside the grits and a bit of the chermoula sauce.

Chermoula Sauce

  • Place all the ingredients, except the oil, in the bowl of a food processor. While the processor is running, pour the olive oil into the processor slowly until fully incorporated and smooth, but with some texture still remaining in the sauce.
  • Adjust seasoning accordingly with salt and pepper. The sauce is best served at room temperature.

Harissa Grits

  • Heat the water in a sauce pot over high heat until it begins to boil. Whisk the grits into the water, then turn the heat to medium. Allow the grits to cook for about 15 minutes or until tender, while stirring frequently. If the grits get too thick, add a little additional water to the pot to thin them out some.
  • Once the grits are tender, stir in all the remaining ingredients. Adjust the seasoning accordingly with salt and pepper as needed, and keep them warm until ready to serve.