There are some ingredients that are completely underrated...or simply get forgotten in one's fridge - one of those ingredients would be preserved lemons. Super salty and acidic, preserved lemons are commonly found in Moroccan/Africa dishes and can add a punch of flavour to any dish. I remember picking up a bottle from Gourmet Warehouse for a Moroccan-themed brunch a year ago and had completely forgotten all about it! So what to do with it? For some reason, I thought "salad" - and it completely worked!
I was going simply add some regular lemon juice and zesto a salad I was making until I found my jar of preserved lemons tucked in behind all my other miscellaneous jars of I-don't-know-what. I decided to make a simple vinaigrette with preserved lemon for the salad - and what a difference did it make! Although my salad would have been great with regular lemon, the brininess and mellowed touch of acidity from the preserved lemon added that much-needed ethnic kick. It certainly brightens up a salad and I would highly recommended preserved lemons to many savoury applications where lemons are needed.
Honestly, I always looked forward to getting a little morsel of preserved lemon with each bite of salad - total game changer.
KALE + COUSCOUS SALAD WITH PRESERVED LEMON VINAIGRETTE - serves 8
1 bunch kale, leaves ripped into bite-size pieces
extra virgin olive-oil
2 cups whole wheat couscous
3 cups boiling water
1 (398ml) can chick peas, drained + rinsed
1 bunch italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 preserved lemons, chopped finely, seeds removed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp preserved lemon liquid
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tsps cumin
2 tsps salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
additional salt + pepper to taste
toasted slivered almonds (optional)
Massage the kale with a glug of extra virgin olive oil until all the leaves are fully coated. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, place the couscous and pour boiling water over top of it. Cover for 5 minutes until cooked and fluff with a fork. Pour on top of the massaged kale.
Add the chick peas, parsley, and preserved lemon. Mix well.
In a small bowl, making the vinaigrette with all of the remaining ingredients minus the almonds. Whisk with a fork and taste. Add more salt + pepper if needed.
Toss the vinaigrette with the salad and sprinkle toasted almonds on top before serving.