It’s official. I’ve fallen in love with lemons.
Having waited for what seemed like eternity for my jar of preserved lemons to fully pickle (brine?), the moment finally came to do something with them. I opened the jar, fished out a bloated fruit section, and squished it between my thumb and forefinger. Yup, just as slimy as it looked. I rinsed it off and then sat down to think about what to do with it. I wanted something simple and easy to make that I could eat right away (I was impatient to see what it was like), and something in which the lemon would be the main flavor so that I could glory in all its briny, lemony goodness.
The following recipe fulfills all those criteria. I had to leave out the egg yolk that the original recipe called for (it was a salad dressing), however, because my dining companion refused to eat raw eggs. The end product was not really a dressing or sauce because it was too thick to be either (more like in between a sauce and paste). I don’t really know what it is. However, it is quite delicious tossed with some mixed greens for lunch, and similarly quite tasty tossed with some fresh pasta for dinner. It was so tasty in fact, that I even resorted to spreading it on crackers for a late night snack. Hey, maybe I should do a post on my weird eating habits…
GARLICKY LEMON SAUCE THING
adapted from Eating from the Ground Up (the original preserved lemon caesar salad here looks SO good)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 smallish garlic cloves, peeled (the original calls for 2 cloves; I like garlicky.)
1 tsp honey
freshly ground pepper
1/3 c. olive oil
1 egg yolk (I left this out)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
rind of ~1/2 of preserved lemon, rinsed and finely chopped (I chopped my lemon even though it would eventually go in the food processor, b/c my food processor does not chop v. finely).
1. Combine the vinegar, garlic, honey, and pepper in a mini food processor. Blend until well combined.
3. Add the olive oil and blend. (If making dressing, add oil in a steady stream while blending to emulsify).
4. Add the egg here if using. Blend a couple seconds.
5. Add the Parmesan and finely chopped preserved lemon and blend until the Parmesan is chopped into little bits.
Note 1: Without the egg, the flavor is quite potent and salty (I don’t know what it’s like with the egg). Use sparingly; a little goes a looong way. (Almost more of a paste-like potency than sauce-like.)
Note 2: I tried making this with an immersion blender, and got a smoother, more sauce-like consistency. The flavor of the preserved lemon was much more intense though, almost overpowering; the sauce became rather heavy-tasting instead of light and refreshing. I would recommend adjusting the amount of preserved lemon appropriately, or just adding the finely chopped lemon after immersion blending (I kind of like biting into a little bit of preserved lemon anyway).