CAULIFLOWER COUSCOUS WITH PRESERVED LEMONS

as promised, another recipe to make use of those preserved lemons! i whipped up this cauliflower couscous with chickpeas, preserved lemons and parsley- easy, healthy, delicious.  i would prefer it as a side dish, although we ate it as a meal (with tobasco, because in our house it isn’t a meal if there’s not hot sauce involved).  lou said it “tastes like fish” which is a little confusing because a fish has been no where near this dish. and though i love seafood, i don’t want non-seafood dishes to taste fishy!  he later backtracked and said this dish would be “so good served with fish”.  thatta husband, way to recover.  anyway, i think it was the lemon and parsley that tricked his taste association button.  or he’s fucking with me.  it’s hard to say definitively.  thoughts my friends?  xx- sarah  {more after the jump}

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cauliflower couscous

1 cup cooked chickpeas

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemons 

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

sea salt 

METHOD:

- prepare cauliflower couscous by rough chopping cauliflower and pulsing in a food processor until couscous like consistency is achieved

- in a large frying pan cook garlic in grapeseed oil over low/medium heat for two minutes 

- add chickpeas and lemons, cook for an additional 2 minutes

- add cauliflower couscous to pan and sauté until cauliflower is lightly cooked (you want to retain some of the crunch, beware of overcooking and turning it to mush!)

- add parsley, mix and season with sea salt and pepper

- serve with a sprig of parsley

- enjoy! 

STEAMED, CHILLED VEGETABLES WITH PRESERVED LEMON DIPPING OIL

there are no words for how much i love this, which i know seems crazy because it’s the simplest thing to make and something you wouldn’t think would be THAT satisfying.  but trust me on this one.  you will love it.  i first had a plate of steamed, chilled veggies with lemon juice, salt and olive oil at one of my favorite palm springs restaurants, birba, and now it’s become my go-to dish to make for guests.  this can replace a salad at a dinner party and i promise you, there won’t be a single complaint.  and, it’s the perfect way to get a start on eating though your preserved lemons!  {more after the jump}

i haven’t given specific amounts below because there’s just no way to go wrong here.  cook as much vegetables as you need for the occasion, and make as much dipping oil as you’d like!  you can always use the leftover to mix in with a pasta dish or drizzle over some sourdough bread.  hop eyou love!  xx- sarah

 

INGREDIENTS:

asparagus

green beans

broccoli

lemons

preserved lemons (recipe here)

maldon sea salt flakes 

high quality olive oil

 

METHOD:

- in a small serving bowl combine olive oil and chopped preserved lemons.  set aside.

- cut white ends off of asparagus, chop broccoli into florets an cut ends off of green beans

- steam each vegetable individually (i use a steamer basket in a covered pot of water- easy as eating pie), for just a couple of minutes until they turn bright green and are slightly cooked.  it’s critical that you don’t overcook them, you want them to be crisp!  when cooked, remove from heat and place in refrigerator to chill.

- to serve, lay out all chilled vegetables, squeeze lemon juice over top, sprinkle with maldon flakes and serve with the dipping oil

- enjoy!  

PRESERVED LEMONS

 

you may remember from my last go round at pickling that i like to keep it simple when it comes to these sorts of adventures.  and i also die a small death at the thought of waiting weeks or months to enjoy the fruits of my labor (har har).  traditionally preserved lemons are made by quartering lemons, cramming as many of them as you can fit into a jar, filling up all the rest with kosher salt, seasonings and the juice from the lemons.  they’re amazing, but require THIRTY TO FORTY DAYS of relentless waiting.  to me this sounds about as satisfying as watching my fingernails grow.  i am so much more of an instant (or at least one week) gratification kind of gal. and so when i discovered mention of this shortcut route in my research i pretty much fell off my chair, picked myself up as quickly as i could and ran into the kitchen to start thinly slicing lemons and shoving them into a jar. {more after the jump}

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

7-9 small meyer lemons (regular lemons will also do but i prefer meyer when possible!)

roughly 1/4 cup of sea salt 

 

METHOD:

- thoroughly scrub, clean and dry lemons, preferably organic and the freshest you can find

- slice the lemons as thinly as you can manage, saving the ends to squeeze into the jar later.  remove any seeds that come along

- layer the sliced lemons in a wide mouth mason jar (1 pint), covering with sea salt as you go (from what i’ve read you should not use table salt as it’s too processed and filled with chemicals).  be generous with the salt, you’ll rinse it off when you’re ready to eat them! pack them in as tightly as possible.

- squeeze juice from lemon ends into the jar, filling up any extra air space with juice. (leave a little bit of breathing room at the top!)

- store lemons in a cool dark place for one week

- lemons are ready to eat when the peels are soft.  rinse off before using.

*this is definitely more time consuming than quartering the lemons, but totally worth it in my opinion to cut down on the time it will take to get to the eating part!!!

**i’m not sure exactly how long these will last for a family that doesn’t scarf them up quickly, but it should be at least 6 months (i read that they can last up to 2 years but i’d be a little weary, personally, of eating a 2 year old lemon)

*** these can be chopped and mixed in with pasta and grain dishes, added to salads, mixed in with vegetables, and used in sandwiches.  there are a million and one ways to incorporate these into your cooking!  i’ll post a couple of specific recipe ideas in the next week or two…