Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Using those Preserved Lemons

I tried preserving lemons for the first time a few months ago.  I'm a complete novice at preserving anything.  Not only that but I don't recall having eaten preserved lemons before.  So it was with trepidation that I opened the bottle to see what was going on two months later.  Because it is all so new I'm not sure if they're right but hey what's the worst thing that could happen - food poisoning?!  Anyway, I've taken a risk serving this one up to the family.  Littlest Monkey is sure to dislike it.  He turns his nose up at most meals and he doesn't even like raisins.  Monkey Man will eat anything ("food is fuel") and particularly likes sugar, but sweet things in a main course he's not keen on.  He claims to be unfussy but he doesn't like sweet vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, corn).  Weird.  Well, he'll probably eat it but he won't like it.  My only hope is Eldest Monkey Boy who will try most things and does like raisins and couscous but not pumpkin unless it's in a soup. 

The recipe was suggested to me by my friend Janet who is a fantastic cook.  I adapted quantities and such to suit my family's taste and what I had in the cupboard.  I used a red onion because it's flavour is milder and none of the monkeys like onion.  The smell of couscous that has been cooked with a stick of cinnamon is fantastic.  I usually only cook couscous where you put it in a bowl, add hot water, cover and leave but I will definitely be doing it this way again.  I had some couscous recommended by the Greek woman in the deli.  It is a large, sour Greek couscous.  So the recipe is a mix mash in it's origin but here goes.

Pumpkin, Couscous and Preserved Lemon
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 500g (approx) diced pumpkin
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups couscous
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to moderate.  Toss diced pumpkin with a tbs oil, sprinkle with salt to taste and roast in a single layer in the oven until golden.
Chop the flesh from the lemon and chop the peel into small pieces.  Put the flesh into a sieve over a bowl and press with the back of a spoon to extract juice.
Cook onion in 1 tbs oil until golden.  Add to pumpkin.
Cook couscous with cinnamon stick in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender and drain.  Add couscous to vegetables, toss with 2 tbs oil to coat.  Add lemon peel and juice, parsley, nuts, raisins, ground cinnamon and salt to taste.  Toss to mix well.  Serve at room temperature.

Postscript:  As predicted Littlest Monkey ate a couple of pine nuts but not much more, Eldest Monkey Boy ate a mouthful and said he didn't like it.  Monkey Man was at work and missed dinner.  But my friend popped round during the day and had a taste and she said it was great ( I don't think she was just being polite) and our babysitter said it was delicious and took some leftovers for tomorrow.  I reckon it was pretty good too but maybe not for kid palates.  It'd be a great side dish to have when entertaining.

1 comment:

  1. It does look good. I'm sure it tasted good too. It must have been 'sourishly' delicious.


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