Instagram is part of the social media odyssey that I am still learning about. Hashtag this and hashtag that – I often can’t decide which hashtags to use! It is fun to experiment. Write #avocado and suddenly people in a different time zone on a different continent with some very odd user name are “liking” a photo of your dinner! Still not really sure what I think about that. Are we all just a little “too” connected?
When I posted a picture of Tomato, Feta & Preserved Lemon Salad to my Instagram, one of my intimate group of “followers”, asked me for the recipe and I promised to put it up on the website. I often snap pictures and put them on Instagram just to test out the waters – if people respond to the picture, then perhaps they are blog worthy! This salad made the cut, but first, let me tell you a little bit about how it came to be.
My dinner group that I mentioned in Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies had its last meeting for the school year back in May. Our theme for the evening was “citrus”, meaning we were all charged with bringing a menu item featuring some sort of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit.
My friend, Charity, thought it would be fun to teach us how to make Moroccan pantry staple, Spiced Preserved Lemons, a recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine, one of my favorites. We came armed with mason jars and lemons and she demonstrated the technique for us. It really wasn’t difficult at all, but the hard part was waiting the 4 weeks for these luscious lemons to actually preserve so they could be used! The good news is if you don’t have that kind of patience, preserved lemons can be found at Whole Foods.
Here is my version. Lemons, lemon juice, kosher salt, a cinammon stick, a couple of cloves and a bay leaf are placed in a sterile Mason jar to sit in a dark area of your kitchen for one week. Three more weeks in the fridge, and they are ready to use. Plan ahead! They can be kept in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Once preserved, the lemons soften in texture and can be eaten rind and all. Their flavor mellows and takes on salty, earthy notes from the spices. They are a delight to include in salads, as part of a dressing or with butter to flavor vegetables. They just need a quick rinse to rid them of any extra salt that has attached itself to the flesh.
Charity brought this Tomato, Feta & Preserved Lemon Salad to dinner group for us to sample the preserved lemons and I have been making it ever since. The recipe is as delicious to eat as it is pretty to look at. I hope you make it sometime very soon. Great summer fare that goes with almost any protein, or stands happily on its own.
Preserved lemons, ready for a quick rinse…
Rinsed and sliced for the salad…
All the beautiful elements of the salad awaiting a toss with just some olive oil, salt and pepper…
The finished salad, minus the yellow tomatoes for this shot! Food blogger liberties I guess…
Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine
- 1 to 2 preserved lemons (click on link in post for recipe)
- 1 serrano chile
- 1/2 pound feta cheese (preferably more creamy than crumbly), cut into 1/2 inch cubes (1 3/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups grape or small cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed and left whole or halved
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
- 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Rinse one of the preserved lemons well, cut it into quarters, and slice the quarters crosswise into thin slices (you need about 1/2 cup - cut up another lemon if needed). Remove any seeds.
- Discard the stem from the chile and then cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Slice the chile halves thinly crosswise.
- Put the sliced preserved lemon, chile, feta, tomatoes, and olives in a bowl.
- Pour in the olive oil and sprinkle with the cumin seeds and parsley.
- Toss gently to mix and then serve.
Tips from The Kitchen Scout
Kitchen Scout Tips - toast the cumin seeds in a pan over low heat, just until you start to smell them. Do not leave them unattended as they can burn easily! Ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and put in a bowl to leave at room temperature for at least an hour, covered, until ready to toss with olive oil and serve.
[…] parts of which I hope to share in future posts. Although organized and able to schedule both Tomato, Feta & Preserved Lemon Salad and Double Chocolate Loaf Cake before we left, I was not prolific enough to also write this […]
Your recipes and reviews inspire. Beautiful pictures and magnificent blog capture my imagination. Brava Val!
Thank you, Mary Jo! I appreciate getting feedback – it is helpful for me to know what people like and don’t so thank you for taking time to comment! So glad you are reading!