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Preserved Lemons Spiced 2 Ways

by Christopher Riley

Preserved Lemons Spiced 2 Ways

I have a thing for indian lemon pickle – those fine specimens of fermented perfection that do me right everywhere from curries, to flatbreads to yogurt and rice…

you may even know that i got married in rajasthan and traveled around for a month, where i kid you not –
that whole month i never longed for a morsel of any other persuasion than those sultry masalas. but here’s the thing- way before i lost, for a moment, my breath at the first sight of the taj mahal.

or tried to coax it back in & out, respectively, in the middle of the night while traveling down a 4 lane highway at 70mph realizing i was looking straight into the eyes of a caravan of cargo carrying camels… i was seduced by this: preserved lemons of the maghreb and this too:

persian spiced preserved lemons lest you think my palate promiscuous, let me explain:

(i sort of half prepared a discourse about growing up in an italian-american-slovakian home and while those flavors and textures will always be part of who i am, my world literally opened up when i began to experience the world. not only by the good fortune and wherewithall of actually getting to these places, but by experiencing them on the palate. and how, even when one cannot actually trot around to all those exotic places, the palate can. and by studying world food cultures, one can learn a whole lotta ’bout the cultures of the world.)

but basically all i’m sayin’ is variety is the spice of life baby.

(ok, my palate’s a tramp)

if you are not accustomed to eating preserved lemons i’ll forgive you that you don’t know their uses are endless. yes they are traditionally used in meat tangines in the maghreb, and are a perfect accompaniment to persian rice pilafs. but my friends, that is only the beginning of the story.

anywhere you want a salty-citrus hit, with just a bit of heat & spice for depth, you want these. chop them up for salads and their dressings, simple bean and grain dishes, pan-fried or roasted vegetables, and served on top of stir-fried shrimp or grilled fish, etc.

go ahead, you know your palate wants it…

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