Sunday, February 7, 2010

Israeli Couscous with Preserved Lemon

Last year sometime (yes.... last year), in a fit of creativity and good cooking intentions, I preserved a lemon. Since then, the lemon has moved from one apartment to another with me, waiting patiently in its tupperware. Then, a few weeks (fine.... months) ago, a friend sent me this recipe. I admit I tried it mostly for the sake of finally using my poor abandoned lemon, but I have to say the result was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes a recipe is so much more than the sum of its parts. Try it and see!

I haven't changed much, except using a sweet potato in place of a butternut, but here it is for your convenience:

1. Bake a sweet potato for about 10 minutes (don't forget to poke holes) - till it's just beginning to soften, but nowhere near mashing softness.

2. For the same 10 minutes, boil 1 & 3/4 cups Israeli couscous - that's the large-grained, pasta-like variety - in salted water with a cinnamon stick. When done, drain it and put it in a large bowl, tossed with 2 TB of olive oil.

3. While those things are cooking, chop a large onion. When the sweet potato is done, skin it and chop it into small dice. Cook it with the onion in another TB olive oil over medium heat.

4. Once the onion is cooked to golden perfection, toss in 1/2 cup of pine nuts (so they'll toast a bit in the oil).

5. Toss all of this into the couscous, along with:

The finely chopped skin of your preserved lemon
1/2 cup of golden raisins (plump these up by covering them with water and microwaving)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
A shake of cinnamon
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
If needed, a squeeze of the juice of the innards of your lemon.

It's probably no secret that I love a good sweet/tart/savory mix of flavors, but man, this blew me out of the water. It's a keeper.

1 comment:

  1. I tried this again but jumped the gun on my lemon (it was not yet preserved), so had to replace with dehydrated lemon peel (plumped up in water). Not a bad substitute, though not quite as amazing.