PRESERVED LEMON RECIPES & A SAGA OF 3 LEMON TREES

My kids planned a special gift for me for Mother’s Day. They know how much I like Meyer lemons so they ordered me a Meyer lemon tree and a kit with everything needed to successfully grow it indoors. It almost made it, but just about the time it should have arrived, there were reports of a terrible accident near Fife that backed up traffic for miles. All lanes on northbound Interstate 5 where closed for nine hours in a crash that involved two semi-trucks loaded with heavy cream, butter, and 30,000 pounds of fish. The cream made the highway dangerously slick and polluted a nearby stream, requiring quick action to prevent it from killing the fish.

Photo from Washington State Department of Transportation

At the end of the pile-up were two Fed-Ex delivery trucks. My tree was in the last truck.

Photo from Washington State Department of Transportation

To make matters worse, when it was finally delivered, the box, clearly labeled, “Keep Flat,” was left standing up vertically and upside down! The top half of the tree was broken off and some of the dirt was dumped out. The company promised a replacement, which was supposed to arrive in a day or two, but didn’t. When my son called to check on it, he was told it was lost and they had no idea where it was. They promised to send a third one. The second tree eventually showed up looking pale and bedraggled after having spent 11 days in a dark truck. The third one showed up a few days later; it had an uneventful trip and looked good. Here are the trees in the order they arrived, L to R.

Photo © 2021 by Judy Barnes Baker

If they all survive, I will have a small orchard to supply me with fruit for some of my favorite recipes, including one for the unusual Roasted Red Pepper and Preserved Lemon Salad, below, which is new to the blog.

Preserved Lemons

I prefer to make Preserved Lemons with the Meyer variety, which is a cross between lemons and sweet oranges. The Preserved Lemon recipe is here.

Photo © 2012 by Judy Barnes Baker

I’ve included links to two of the recipes from my blog that use my preserved lemons; the first one is a show-stopper of a side-dish of Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon, Lemon Peel, Chili Peppers, and Olives.

Photo © 2014 by Judy Barnes Baker

The second is a refreshing Moroccan style Radish Salad, that recipe is here.

Photo © 2021 by Judy Barnes Baker

The third recipe is the new one. I hope you will try it; it is sooo good!

ROASTED RED PEPPER AND PRESERVED LEMON SALAD

Photo © 2021 by Judy Barnes Baker

This traditional salad from Morocco was originally made with green peppers because sweet red bell peppers are relative newcomers on the produce scene; they now come in red, orange, yellow, green, purple, white, and brown. When I was growing up, we had pimento cheese, canned corn with pimentos, and a kind of lunchmeat called pepper loaf that contained pimentos, sometimes with pickles, cheese, or olives, all made with soft, wrinkled, ripe pimento peppers. (When dried and ground, they become the spice, paprika.) I don’t think fresh, crisp red bell peppers had been invented yet.

Make this salad with green bell peppers if you need to lower your vitamin A intake. The red ones ripen longer in the sun and that gives them nine times as much vitamin A as the green ones. The yellow ones have five times as much as the red. I would assume that the white ones would have the least amount of vitamin A, but they are not included in the databases. (Etsy sells lots of heirloom seeds if you want to grow some white ones.)

Ingredients

  • 3 Roasted Red Peppers, recipe below
  • 1 preserved lemon, rind only, finely diced, see link above
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (remove any green cores)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Roast three red bell peppers according to directions in recipe below. Remove charred skin and dice. Place in a bowl and mix with remaining ingredients.

Recipe makes about 9 ounces or a little over 1.5 cups of salad: 6 servings as a relish or condiment or 3 or 4 as a starter.

Nutrition Data for one serving as a starter (¼ of recipe) made with red peppers:

Calories:  64.9 g; Fat:  5.3 g; Carbs: 4.9 g; Fiber: 1.6 g; Net Carbs: 3.3 g; Protein: 0.8 g; RAE (Retinol Activity Equivalent): 95.2 mcg

Nutrition Data for one serving as a starter (¼ of recipe) made with green peppers:

Calories: 61.7; Fat: 5.2 g; Carbs: 4.1 g; Fiber: 1.4 g; Net Carbs: 2.7 g; Protein: 0.7 g; RAE: 21.8 mcg

ROASTED RED PEPPERS

I was surprised to see that I had never posted a recipe for roasted red peppers here on the blog! (There is a version in both Nourished and Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat.) I use them in a lot of recipes, including my new Roasted Red Pepper and Preserved Lemon Salad, but they are also terrific on their own as a side or as part of an antipasto platter.

Ingredients

  • 3 red bell peppers, 7 to 8 ounces each

Directions

Cut ½ inch off the stem end of the peppers. Cut around stems and pull them out. Cut ½ inch off the bottom of peppers. Cut down the side wall of the each pepper and open them out into flat rectangles. Cut out the seeds and membranes from all pieces. Flatten long side-wall pieces by breaking peppers where they naturally form segments, but try to leave the skin intact.

Lay peppers, including top and bottom rounds, skin-side-up on a broiler pan. Place under broiler, 2 to 3 inches from heat source. Broil 2 to 4 minutes, or until skin is very blackened and blistered. Watch carefully and rotate pan for even heat, but do not turn the peppers over.

While the peppers are still hot, put them in a bowl and cover with a plate. Let them steam for 15 minutes to loosen skins. Rub or peel off skins. Cut peppers into pieces and use in recipes or serve as appetizer or side.

You can also cook the peppers on a grill, in which case you would lay them skin-side down.

Roasted Red Peppers, Nutrition Data for each pepper (average weight 7.5 ounces each):

Calories: 18.4 g; Fat: 0.2 g; Carbs: 4.3 g; Fiber: 1.5 g; Net Carbs: 2.8 g; RAE: 110.9 g

Roasted Green Peppers, Nutrition Data for each pepper (average weight 7.5 ounces each):

Calories: 14.2 g; Fat: 0.1 g; Carbs: 3.3 g; Fiber: 1.2 g; Net Carbs: 2.1 g; RAE: 13.1 mcg

 (Values shown above are for fresh peppers; it is possible that they are slightly different after roasting since some of the sugar caramelizes on the pan.)

NOTES

Moroccan Salads

Several small salads, called mezze, are usually served at the beginning of a Moroccan meal. They are often made of roasted vegetables, like this one, and do not contain leafy greens.

About Peppers

Peppers are members of the genus Capsicum in the Solanaceae or Nightshade family of plants along with tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. They are native to Mexico and central and South America. University of California researchers reported finding dried peppers and seeds in 9,000 year-old burial sites in Mexico. Fossil evidence that domesticated chili peppers were grown over six thousand years ago was discovered in ancient stew pots and on grindstones in Ecuador. In some places, they predated the invention of pottery: https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna17171454#.VAtAXfldW8A

Peppers were introduced to Europe in 1493s by Columbus and spread to Africa, Asia, and North America. A Closer Look at Sweet Pepper Breeding and Its Challenges | EuropeanSeed (european-seed.com)

Disclaimers:

I am not a doctor and cannot give medical advice. If you believe you have a health problem, consult a medical practitioner.

I am not an affiliate of any company and do not receive a commission on product sales.

© 2021 by Judy Barnes Baker

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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Andrea Tiktin-Fanti
Andrea Tiktin-Fanti
13 days ago

I hope that your lemon trees (and you) survive the incredible heat wave.

Andrea Tiktin-Fanti
Andrea Tiktin-Fanti
Reply to  Judy Barnes Baker
12 days ago

I am glad that you all made it through.