I know. You’ve been worried, haven’t you? Up late at night – pacing the floor. Distracted at work – unable to concentrate. Well, let me put you out of misery – the preserved lemons I made a few weeks ago are fine. Whew! What a relief, you say.
No, let me rephrase that. They’re better than fine – they’re tasty. What? You say you don’t remember them? Cue shock/horror. Well let me refresh your memory. I whipped up a batch of preserved lemons – lemons stored in a briny mixture of salt and lemon juice with an extra kick of spices and chile. You can find the original recipe here.
Well, they’ve been hanging out (as you do when you’re preserving) but they’re ready now. There are loads of things you can do with them — they’re great chopped up and served with grilled or poached chicken or fish and non-stop fabulous with fresh vegetables or grainy salads.
That’s what I’m going to do with some from this batch. I’ve used bulgur wheat but you could use a can of beans or some pasta or coucous. Go crazy. The key is, you’re going to scoop out the pulp and use the skin of the lemon only. And a little goes a long way. Go easy on the seasoning too because these lemons have been bathing in salt, lemon juice and chile so they mean business. For an extra kick, I added a couple of tablespoons of the brining liquid.
The result? It’s good. Darn good. So stop your pacing and get cooking
4 side portions
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp olive oil.
2 Tbsp of the liquid from the jar of preserved lemons
1 ½ – 2 Tbsp chopped preserved lemon – skin only
¼ cup chopped apricots
¼ cup flaked almonds, toasted
Chile pequin flakes, to taste
Chopped chives or parsley, optional
Place the bulgur wheat in a heat-proof bowl. Boil water and pour about 2 cups over the bulgur wheat. Place a plate over the top of the bowl and let the wheat steep for about 15 minutes. If you’re using fine bulgur (I used coarse for this recipe) it will take less time.
Remove the plate, test a few kernels – it should be tender but still chewy. Drain thoroughly. Toss with the rest of the ingredients and add some chile pequin flakes to taste. Can be served warm or at room temperature.