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Restaurant Recipes: Saffron's Harissa Bloody Mary

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What sounds better than a Mediterranean vacation this frigid Minnesota mid-January? Okay, nothing, but chances are you're stranded in the land of ice and snow and sub-zero temperatures like the rest of us.

Ward off the cold with Saffron's Harrisa Bloody Mary that's sure to trick your taste buds into transporting you to warmer climates. Saed Wadi, who opened Saffron with his brother, Sameh, in February 2007, shares the recipe for this one-of-a-kind Bloody Mary that blends Harissa chili paste, Turkish green olive juice and organic vegetables and spices to exotic perfection in a glass.

Saffron's Harissa Bloody Mary

What you'll need:

Harissa Bloody Mary base:
5 pounds San Marzano tomatoes and juice, blended
3-5 tbsp. harissa, check the level of heat!
1 preserved lemon, gutted and chopped fine
3 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
3 tsp. beef jus
Fresh ground black pepper
Salt
Salt rim:
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
Vodka
Green olives

What you'll do:

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Mix together all the base ingredients. Saffron makes its harissa paste in-house, but it can be bought in stores. Wadi cautions to check the level of heat, so consider yourself warned.

Wet the rim a pint glass with lemon juice and cover with salt rim mix. Fill the glass with ice.

Pour the Harissa Bloody Mary base and vodka over ice. Garnish with green olives, and enjoy.

At Saffron, the Harissa Bloody Mary mix is made fresh weekly, taking up to twelve hours to perfect two quarts of the mix.

Don't feel like fussing to achieve the perfect balance of heat and flavor at home? Stop by Saffron for a mini-Mediterranean vacation at $8 a glass. Savor a few more Harissa Bloody Marys at just $5 each during early and late happy hours, Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Saffron is open Monday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is located at 123 N. 3rd St. and can be reached by phone at 612.746.5533.