Chinese long beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 tablespoon each
lemon thyme and lemon verbena leaves, optional
fresh parsley, chopped
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
crumbled feta cheese
freshly ground black pepper
- In a large microwavable dish, place cut long beans with 1/4 cup water. Microwave the dish on high for about 3 minutes or until the beans are tender but still crisp. Drain beans and spread out on a large plate or cookie sheet to cool.
- Rinse preserved lemon. Cut off about 2/3 of a lemon, scraping flesh from the rind. Finely chop the rind; save flesh for another purpose.
- Remove the leaves from lemon thyme and lemon verbena stems, if using. Mince leaves.
- In a large bowl, place minced preserved lemon rind, minced lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and chopped parsley. Add cooled long beans, along with olive oil. Toss until ingredients are incorporated. Add lemon juice and black pepper. Toss again. Finally, sprinkle crumbled feta over the top.
To Make Preserved Lemons
- I always use Meyer lemons just because I love the floral, complex, and less puckery taste that they have. Whatever lemon variety you choose, I guarantee you will have a fascinating time making preserved lemons. All you need are washed and preferably organic lemons (either Eurekas or Meyers), kosher salt, and a glass jar with a tight lid that has been sterilized by running it through the dishwasher.
- Make two cuts in each lemon so that the quarters created remain attached. Stuff kosher salt into the crevices of the lemons, then place salted lemons tightly into the glass jar. If I have one or two leftover lemons, I’ll often squeeze the juice into the jar before closing it. But you don’t have to. This just gives the lemons a little bit of a head start.
- Place the jar on a countertop, and then just watch and wait. Over the next few days, more and more juice will exude from the lemons, filling the jar. You can give it a shake now and then — or not — to keep the salt blended well in the liquid. In about three weeks, the lemons will get very soft, and the brining liquid thick and cloudy. Once that happens, you can store the jar in the refrigerator. As long as the brine covers the lemons, they’ll keep for about a year refrigerated.
- To use, pick a lemon or part of one out of the jar with a clean fork. Give the lemon a quick rinse. Remove any seeds. Then, use the peel however you like -- chopped or sliced in thin slivers. Some people discard the flesh, but Morse considers that wasteful. I always add some of the chopped flesh in with the rind in whatever I’m making.
- Use preserved lemons in your favorite Moroccan chicken tagine recipes. Or stir it into tuna salad for sandwiches, pasta salad, bean salad, vinaigrettes, marinades for fish or Cornish game hens, or in couscous topped with toasted pine nuts.
- With their bright, salty-citrus taste and jammy texture, you’ll find that preserved lemons add complexity and depth to so many dishes.
- Of course, there are faster ways to make preserved lemons. Some people boil the lemons in the jar in a water bath, thereby cooking the lemons, and making them ready to use the very next day. Others freeze the lemons first, so they start to break down. But I like to wait for mine. After all, that’s half the fun.
From www.foodily.com with permission. © 2010-2012 Foodily.com, Inc.
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