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A Love Letter to Condiments

Honey Harissa Shrimp with Chermoula Quinoa

Consider this a love letter to condiments. They are a workhorse in the kitchen with little recognition. When a dish has something that you can’t quite put your finger on, it’s a condiment. It’s something acidic to something rich. It’s spice for something bland.

Harissa and Chermoula are both condiments from North Africa. Harissa, a spicy, smoky, pepper paste that is so vibrantly red, it stains anything it encounters. It’s extremely versatile too. It’s great with yogurt, on a burger, in tomato sauce, etc. I love to add honey to it and use it as a glaze for seafood or chicken. Chermoula, an extremely herbaceous, citrusy, lively condiment that is warmed by spices that are reminiscent of the region, pairs so well with seafood. It is not to be mistaken, harissa and chermoula are the star of this dish, not the supporting act.  


  • 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1C quinoa, rinsed 

  • 1 ¾ C chicken stock 

  • 1C parsley, chopped 

  • 1C cilantro, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, grated

  • 1Tsp cumin

  • 1Tsp paprika 

  • 1Tsp turmeric

  • ¼ Tsp coriander 

  • 1Tbsp lemon zest 

  • 5Tbsp lemon juice 

  • 2Tbsp harissa

  • ¼ C honey

  • Olive oil

  • Salt

  • Black pepper 


  1. To make the harissa honey sauce, whisk together honey, harissa, 2Tbsp lemon juice, ¼ C olive oil and 1Tsp salt. Whisk until combined. Take ¼ C of the sauce and marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes.

  2. Combine quinoa and chicken stock in a stock pot over high heat. Add in a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. After, turn the heat off, keep covered for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside. 

  3. To make the chermoula, combine parsley, cilantro, 3Tbsp lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric, coriander, ¾ Tsp salt, ½ Tsp black pepper, and 1C olive oil together. Set it aside. 

  4. Add 3Tbsp of olive oil to a sauté pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the shrimp, sprinkle with salt, and sear the shrimp on both sides. The honey chars a bit, giving a darker color to the shrimp. Once the shrimp has turned opaque internally and gone white with pink accents, they are ready. I like to take the remaining harissa honey that wasn’t used for the marinade and coat the cooked shrimp in it. 

  5. Take ½ C of the chermoula and mix it in with quinoa. 

  6. To assemble the dish, take the quinoa and plate it on the bottom and top with the harissa honey shrimp. Adding more harissa glaze and chermoula on top as you see fit. Enjoy! 

Follow @gennamarks on Instagram for more delicious recipes!