Monthly Archives: September 2011

Shalada bil Matesha Basila w’l’Hamad m’Rakad

Okay–so you’ve made your preserved lemons, right? If not, look at the last post, and a week from now, you’ll be ready to make this salad.

This delicious, refreshing salad is Moroccan. It’s a great side dish for summer barbecues–it can’t be beat with meat. But if I’m serving it alone, or with something less robust, I’ll substitute a sweet onion for the more pungent red onion.

And just in case you didn’t start your lemons last week, but still want to make this dish, preserved lemons are now being marketed in the U.S. by Moroccan companies, so you may be able to find them online or in a good import shop. However, it won’t be as cheap, or as fun, as making your own–but they will be just as good. Continue reading

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Preserved Lemons

Olives and Preseved Lemons, Morocco

A handful of ingredients stand as cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. One of those things is preserved lemons. The preserved lemons in the image above were preserved whole, which is very dramatic looking and may be more authentic, but it takes a month. The recipe below is for “quick” preserved lemons — it only takes a week. These add a distinctive flavor to many Moroccan dishes, some of which I’ll share with you once you’ve made your preserved lemons.

“Speedy” Preserved Lemons

2 ripe lemons
1/3 cup coarse (kosher) salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
olive oil

Try to find lemons that don’t have terribly thick skins. They should be ripe and fragrant. Scrub the lemons and dry them well, then cut each one into eight wedges. Toss the wedges with the salt and place them in a 1/2-pint glass jar with a plastic-coated lid.

Alternatively, if your lemons are not small enough to fit in a 1/2-pint jar (and most lemons sold at your average Midwest grocery store are not that small), toss a few more wedges in additional salt, and keep adding until the jar is pretty firmly packed. But don’t go with too big a jar. (I usually find that 2-1/2 large lemons work in a 1-pint jar.) Continue reading

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