Harissa Tuna Sandwich with Hard Boiled Eggs and Olives

I purposely stepped away from this space and all it involves during the holidays. By default, I get naturally pulled into complete motherhood mode when there are meals to serve and the kids are home, but this time, I was aiming for more intention. So I stayed away from Instagram, and tuned out the urge to explore new flavor combinations and recipe ideas. In some way, cooking out of habit foods that have been on repeat for years was liberating. Plus, seeing everyone eager for the familiar dishes is an encouraging nod to a home cook. No hunched noses or expressed disapproval, how nice. With all that, I still couldn't tame the relentless flow of ideas circling in my mind. Projects I want to work on, the direction I want to take this blog, how the perfect chocolate cake still eludes me.

These thoughts, like most thoughts I suppose, appeared randomly but constantly, making themselves into a pressing matter that must be accomplished, as if they could be. I still haven't come to terms with the season in life I'm in. You would think that after seven years, I would have realized how all-consuming motherhood is. I love it and I chose it but sometimes can't they just make their own breakfast? And maybe their beds too? I know these days are fleeting. Really, I know, and I try to be present, but maybe I'm also looking forward that one day, hopefully, though not soon enough, I will be able to indulge my passion just a bit more. I'm not aspiring it to take center stage, because that's not where my heart lies, but someplace where I can do more than I dream about. After all, this space is my happy place, and I'm grateful to have it connect us through cooking, but only if more often.

Enough wishful thinking, let's talk about this sandwich. I started making homemade harissa and just like I expected, I can't imagine going back to the industrially-made kind. It's dense, flavorful, and spicy, but requires little effort, just some food processor time. It also survives the freezer well so you can double up and store a few small containers, making the process more worthwhile.

 I happen to think it's worth it if only for this sandwich. Growing up, mixing harissa with tuna was a default dinner for days when the need for a quick, satisfying meal was in order. Both are staples that go well together. I'm also a believer that a little heat makes things a notch more flavorful. If you aren't of that opinion, just pick an harissa that's mild, but don't skip it. The peppery garlic taste adds so much dimension, especially in this sandwich which resembles a Tunisian Tuna Sandwich but with my variations. The eggs add extra protein, the greens a crunch of freshness and the preserved lemons a burst of juicy citrus. I also love tucking in round slivers of olives, which I'm a big fan of. If you have everything on hand, this makes an excellent, no cook meal that comes together in little time. And don't we all need more that?

Harissa Tuna Sandwich with Hard Boiled Eggs and Olives

yields 2-3 servings


4 eggs

1 can tuna, drained

1 tablespoon harissa

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup black olives, sliced

1/4 cup preserved lemons, chopped

1/2 cup chopped baby greens

whole grain bread, sliced



In a saucepan, place the eggs and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat and cook eggs for 9 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, peel and slice each egg. Season with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, mix the tuna, parsley, harissa, and olive oil until well combined. Brush olive oil on each slice of bread and toast for 2 minutes until heated but not toasted. Assemble the sandwich: spoon tuna on each slice, top with black olives, preserved lemons, egg slices and baby greens. Cover with the second slice and give it a generous squeeze so the elements settle in.