Broiled Salmon with Mint and Preserved Lemon; Strawberry Salad with Feta and Pistachios

by Jennifer

My older son had the idea of a strawberry dinner,

celebrating both the local strawberries now in season and Ira’s birthday.  After picking strawberries at a local farm, I came up with this menu:  Strawberry Bellinis with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Onion Phyllo Pouches; Broiled Salmon with Mint and Preserved Lemon, Strawberry Salad with Feta and Pistachios, and No-Knead Bread;  Chocolate – Strawberry Cake.

Broiled Salmon with Mint and Preserved Lemon – serves 4

  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup, packed, of fresh mint
  • 1 small preserved lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus extra for sprinkling
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 4 salmon fillets

In a small food processor (or by hand, if you wish), chop the garlic.  Add the preserved lemon and pulse a few times,

then add the mint and process again to finely chop.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in 2 TBS oil, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.  Preheat broiler.

Brush salmon fillets with oil, season with salt and pepper, and broil a few inches from the heat for 10 minutes, or until just cooked through.  To serve, divide mint/lemon mixture on top of salmon fillets.

Strawberry Salad with Feta and Pistachios – serves 4

  • 1 1/2 lbs strawberries, sliced
  • 10 oz. package Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup, packed, of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 3.5 oz. package crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 TBS sherry vinegar
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Toss together salad ingredients, then add dressing and toss gently to combine.

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Shrimp Scampi with Preserved Lemon and Fennel on Polenta, Romaine Salad with Anchovies and Parmesan

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Bon Appetit, serves 4 – 6.  Serve with Romaine Salad with Anchovies and Parmesan.

Polenta:

  • 4 1/2 8-oz. bottles clam juice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 3/4 tsp hot sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shrimp Scampi:

  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. large shrimp, cleaned
  • coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped, seeded tomato
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 TBS chopped preserved lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the polenta:
Combine clam juice, water and cream in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Slowly add the cornmeal, whisking, and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 15 minutes.
Whisk in hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste, then remove from burner, cover, and keep warm until scampi is finished.  (Add a little water before serving if it gets too thick.)

For shrimp scampi:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp, season with coarse salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring once, for about 2 minutes, or until the shrimp begin to turn opaque.  Transfer shrimp to a plate.

Add the fennel through garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender, about 4 minutes.

Add cream, bring to a boil, and

stir in shrimp, tossing to coat, just until the shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute.  Divide polenta among plates and top with scampi.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp, Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon, Sauteed Spinach

by Jennifer

I absolutely love this Israeli couscous recipe, and it gave me an opportunity to use my preserved Meyer lemons!  The dinner serves 4 adults, but the couscous really serves 6, so there’s some for lunch the next day.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

  • 1 lb. shrimp, preferably wild-caught, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Marinate the shrimp in the garlic and oil for 15 – 45 minutes.  Prepare grill.  Season with salt and pepper.

Thread on skewers and grill, turning once,

until just cooked through, 5 – 7 minutes.

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/4” dice
  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup Israeli couscous (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 3” long cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (see below)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup diced preserved lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

On a heavy rimmed baking sheet, toss together the diced butternut squash and 1 TBS oil, season with salt, and roast in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes.

Transfer squash to a serving bowl.

In a 350 degree oven or toaster oven, toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant, about 5 – 8 minutes.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a heavy 10” skillet and cook the onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to turn golden.

Transfer to the bowl with the squash.  Add the pine nuts, raisins, lemon rind, and ground cinnamon.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the couscous, with the cinnamon stick, for 10 minutes, then drain.  Discard cinnamon stick and

add couscous, along with the parsley and the last TBS of oil, to the vegetables and toss to combine well.

Sauteed Spinach 

  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat;

add garlic and when it’s fragrant,

add the spinach in batches, tossing with tongs.

When all the spinach is in and has wilted, season with salt and pepper.

Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon; Sauteed Swiss Chard

by Jennifer

Continuing my current crush on Meyer lemons, I made preserved lemons a while back, and this is my first recipe using them.  The lemons are delicious.  You use only the peel, and make sure to rinse off the salty lemon juice before using them.

Serves 4.

  •  1 lb. orecchiette
  • 14 – 15.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped preserved lemon rind
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cook orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente;  drain.  Transfer pasta back to the empty pot and stir in the olive oil.  Add chickpeas, feta, mint, preserved lemon and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Serves 4.

  •  2 bunches green swiss chard, stems and thick ribs removed, torn into pieces
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

Add the swiss chard in batches, tossing with tongs until it wilts.

Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon juice.  Toss again, then serve.