Preserved lemons (Recipe: slow cooker lentil and brown rice soup with preserved lemons and garlic sausage)
One important thing to know about preserved lemons:
A condiment used extensively in North African cuisine, preserved lemons don't taste like fresh lemons at all, and you really can't substitute one for the other. Preserved lemons, pickled in a salty brine, taste most like capers -- a mildly fruity and floral flavor that adds a surprising bite to soups and stews -- and you can slip them into dishes that usually call for capers. Best of all, It's incredibly easy to make them in your own kitchen. All you need are lemons, kosher salt, a glass jar, and a little bit of patience.
Cooking or baking?
Cooking. In tagines and stews, in fish dishes, and in olive tapenades.
In the refrigerator. As long as the lemons are covered with brine, they will keep for up to one year.
Slow cooker lentil and brown rice soup with preserved lemon and garlic chicken sausage
The combination of preserved lemon and garlic really makes this soup sing. For the stovetop version of this recipe, please visit Soup Chick. Serves 6.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
12 oz roasted garlic chicken sausage, cut in half lengthwise, then cut across into 1/4-inch moons
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
9 cups stock (I use homemade rotisserie chicken stock, but use any type of stock you have, or water)
1 Tbsp soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp minced preserved lemon rind, plus additional for garnish
1 tsp fresh black pepper, or more to taste (I used 1 Tbsp)
Kosher salt, if needed, to taste
In a frying pan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until the sausage is lightly browned on both sides.
Transfer onions and sausage to a 4-quart slow cooker, along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, until the rice is tender. Check the level of liquid during that time; if necessary, add 1 cup of water to keep the lentils from sticking.
Serve hot, garnished with additional minced preserved lemon rind, or allow to cool completely and freeze for up to six months. When you are ready to reheat, you'll probably have to add water or more stock, as the lentils and rice will absorb every bit of liquid you give them.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Chicken with preserved lemon and olives
Couscous salad with herbs
Salmon tagine with chermoula
Split pea, sausage and preserved lemon soup
Lentils with spinach and preserved lemon
Other recipes that use preserved lemon:
Grilled wild salmon with preserved lemon relish, from Simply Recipes
Moroccan eggplant salad with preserved lemon, from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Israeli couscous with butternut squash and preserved lemons, from David Lebovitz
Pomegranate lamb tagine with preserved Meyer lemons, from No Recipes
Tuna tartare with preserved lemons, from Beyond Salmon