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Baked herb ricotta with preserved lemon and walnut oil

16 Dec

1 15 oz tub whole milk ricotta

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 TBS herbs (thyme, marjoram), chopped

½ preserved lemon (2 quarters), chopped

½ tsp crushed red pepper

fresh ground black pepper

1 TBS walnut oil

Combine first 6 ingredients. Transfer to ovenproof serving dish. Drizzle with walnut oil and additional parmesan cheese . Bake at 325 about 25 minutes. Garnish with additional chopped herb. Serve warm with crostini or endive.

Smoked Salmon Dip with Preserved Lemon

27 May

  • 1 Cup (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or creme fresh
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 t Tabasco sauce
  • 6 oz smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • 2 T finely chopped or pureed preserved lemons
  • 2 T chopped fresh dill
  • 2 T chopped fresh chives
  • Black Pepper, to taste

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, lemons & Tabasco in a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse until blended. Add salmon, dill & chives; pules until blended. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Roasted Asparagus Soup with Preserved Lemon

27 May

We served this at a local fundraising dinner and again at a winery party – and folks were swooning in the isles. This simple soup is a seasonal winner; easy to make but distinctive and unique, with flavor that stands out over a normal roasted veggie soup.

  • 3.5 lbs asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • 3.5 cups broth (we made an herb/leek broth)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs thyme, chopped fine
  • .75 cups grated Parmesan
  • .5 cups heavy cream
  • 4 Tbs preserved lemon, pureed
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1.5 c half and half

Trim  asparagus, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees until cooked through. Let cool then chop into 1” pieces. Sauté onion, garlic, and thyme in butter. Add asparagus and sauté another few minutes to heat everything through.

Add broth, bring to simmer.

Add parmesan, half and half, and heavy cream. Stir to combine.

Add preserved lemon paste. Stir to combine.


Transfer soup to bowl of a food processor and puree to desired consistency. Served heated or chilled.


Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts with Apple Juniper Mostarda Dip

26 Mar


  • 1/1 lb Bacon
  • 2 cans Water chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoons Sour cream
  • 4oz Apple Juniper Mostarda
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • vegetable oil

1. Mix Apple Juniper mostarda with a little bit of sour cream at a time. Adjust flavor with salt.

2. Roughly chop onion and caramelize by cooking covered over low heat for 20-30 minutes

3. Heat a pot with canola or vegetable oil over medium high heat.  The oil should be about 3-4 inches deep.

4. Wrap chestnuts with bacon, and skewer with toothpick so that when you deep fry the bacon with not come loose. Also, only wrap the water chestnut once around. Fry in vegetable oil until bacon is crispy and serve with the mostarda dip, garnished with caramelized onions.

Preserved Lemon Hummus

16 Aug

Serves 4

  • 1/2 C tahini
  • 2 wedges of RoJ preserved lemons
  • 2 16 oz cans of chickpeas
  • 2 T mild miso paste (white miso)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Pour tahini into a clean food processor. After a minute of being whirled, whipped and creamed in the food processor it turns into a paste. It’s lighter in color and much thicker.

Add the remaining ingredients, one at a time – blending for at least one minute after each ingredient is added. After adding the final ingredient, blend in the food processor until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Coconut-Curry-Caramel Corn

8 Jul

  • 1.5 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons well-shaken canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp your favorite preserved lime peels, finely minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, divided (optional, but recommended)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 18 cups popped popcorn (about 3/4 cup kernels)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or mace (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the oven to cook, stirring once or twice, until toasted golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While the coconut toasts and cools, make the candied peanuts: In a small bowl, combine the peanuts, coconut milk, 2 Tbsp of the brown sugar, 1 Tbsp preserved lime peel, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Transfer to a medium nonstick skillet and cook on high without stirring until the nuts start to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the peanuts are completely brown, about 5 minutes more. (The pan may smoke a little – this is ok).

Transfer the mixture to a large plate and set aside to cool. When cool, use your fingers to break the mixture into smaller pieces.

Make the caramel corn: Spray an extra-large mixing bowl (don’t use plastic), rubber spatula, wooden spoon, and 2 rimmed baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Place the popcorn, candied peanuts, and toasted coconut in the sprayed bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1.5 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp lime peel, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, baking soda, nutmeg, paprika, remaining 1/4 tsp cayenne, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the remaining 2 cups brown sugar and the corn syrup. Stir occasionally with the greased spatula until the butter is melted, then stir constantly until the bubbles in the mixture are thick and the caramel registers 225 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the spices.

Immediately pour the spiced caramel over the popcorn mixture, stirring with the greased wooden spoon, until all of the popcorn is evenly coated.

Divide the mixture between the two baking sheets and spread each with an even layer of the popcorn mixture. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to keep from burning.

Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Once cool, serve or pack into airtight bags; the caramel corn will remain fresh for up to four days.

Lemon Garlic Kale

1 Jul

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 shallot (or 1/2 red onion) Diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • dash liquid smoke
  • 2 wedges of your favorite Preserved Lemons, finely chopped
  • 1 ts olive oil

In a medium-large saucepan, boil 6 cups of water. Add kale, cook for about 10 minutes until tender. Drain.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on high and add the shallot (or onion), cook till translucent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 1-2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Add kale. Once the kale is coated with the oil, add the lemons and liquid smoke, cooking for an additional 5 minutes.

Sweet and Spicy Summer Salsa

13 Jun

1 large tomato
2 avocados
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1-2 seeded jalapeno peppers
2 cloves garlic
3-4 ears corn
1 tsp salt
lime juice to taste
1/4 cup of your favorite Peach Lemon Lime Jam

Grill the corn and cut the kernels off the cob. Roast the red onion, garlic, and jalapenos at 450 degrees until browned. Dice the tomato, avocado, cilantro, roasted onion, roasted jalapenos, and roasted garlic. Combine all ingredients plus jam in a medium mixing bowl and stir. Add salt and lime juice to taste.

Black Pepper Ricotta Sformata

24 Mar

This savory cheese pudding makes a great vehicle for jam. You can vary the flavor by adding different herbs or spices. We’ve served the Black Pepper Sformata topped with Mixed Berry Balsamic jam and garnished with candied bacon, as well as with Cherry Black Pepper jam. Try the basil or black pepper version topped with Strawberry Basil jam.

Updated 3/24/13 to include option to bake as one large tart/souffle:

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature or cut into small pieces
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, finely shredded
2/3 cup of your favorite jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-9″ springform tart pan with parchment. Spray sides of pan with cooking spray.

In a stand mixer, combine ricotta cheese and cream cheese and mix at low speed until smooth and well-combined, scraping as necessary to ensure that the cream cheese is fully integrated with no lumps. You can increase the speed as it mixes. Add eggs, salt and pepper and mix at medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes; then add parmesan cheese and mix until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared springform pan and bake until puffed and golden brown, and center no longer jiggles when you move the pan, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the pan and spring open. Use a large spatula to slide tart off of bottom of pan and onto a platter. Spread with jam and serve with crackers.

Original recipe, for mini-muffin-sized bites; these are more firm and less fluffy and souffle-like:

1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
Variations: Instead of black pepper, use:

  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme, OR
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced mint leaves, OR
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced basil or 2 tsp dried basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and use a blender to mix until well-incorporated and fluffy. Use 2 spoons to drop batter into muffin liners. Bake until top is beginning to turn golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool, then top with jam and garnish.

Using Preserved Lemons

25 Feb

As we’ve told many customers, we start to get a little panicky when we’re low on preserved lemons in our home kitchen — yet many people are not familiar with them. Here’s a spot where we’ll post a collection of our favorite uses for these little flavor bombs.

Preserved Lemons are simply whole lemon wedges preserved in salt and spices. After curing for at least 30 days, the lemon rind softens and absorbs the salt and spices, and the pulp starts to dissolve and melt away. The longer they sit, the better they get.

It’s the rind that you’ll use in your cooking. The pulp can definitely be used, too — but it seems to hold a more intensely salty flavor, so we use it somewhat sparingly. You might also choose to rinse your lemons before using them to remove some of the saltiness, but we generally use them straight from the jar and keep the salt low in other aspects of the recipe.

We recommend using them anywhere you want a burst of lemon flavor. Acidity or “brightness” is an element that will add life to many dishes — which is more appealing: a plateful of steamed broccoli, or a plateful of steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon? If you said “neither,” think instead of a bite of fish or a glass of iced tea. Something that may not have a very complex flavor can come alive with a little acidity.

Case in point: we recently made a recipe of Brussels Sprout Risotto. It was fine, but not something that was very appealing; it tasted a bit flat and one-dimensional. Preserved lemons to the rescue! We stirred in a couple of teaspoons of minced preserved lemon rind, and suddenly we had a risotto that tasted like something from a high-end restaurant.

Weeknight meals can be simple and delicious when preserved lemons are on hand. For a quick sauce for fish, chicken or vegetables, try browning some butter and adding minced preserved lemon. Toss pasta with store-bought cream sauce, some sauteed or grilled chicken breast, some chopped fresh basil and some chopped preserved lemons. The lemons play nicely with sweeter foods like winter squash — see below for some pizza topping ideas.

If you’d rather follow a specific recipe, below are a few we like. Preserved lemons are traditionally used in Moroccan cuisine as a seasoning for the stews made in clay pots called tagines, so you might try searching for Moroccan tagine recipes for more ideas.

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon from Epicurious

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons and Green Olives from Epicurious — this calls for 8 wedges of Preserved Meyer Lemon, which is a milder and sweeter lemon. We’ve made it with a minced wedge of our preserved lemons, and it was delicious.

Quite Untraditional Pizza topping ideas:

  • 2 leeks, chopped & sauteed in butter with salt & pepper + mozzarella + a sprinkle of grated Gruyere cheese; after baking, add minced preserved lemon and red pepper flakes
  • white sauce + chunks of roasted butternut or delicata squash + havarti or gruyere; after baking, add minced preserved lemon and a sprinkling of finely chopped walnuts

Other recipes that we haven’t tried yet but are making our stomachs growl:

Charred Savoy Cabbage Salad from chef Brandon Pettit at Delancy in Seattle, via

More ideas here:

Send us your suggestions or discoveries, and we’ll add them here!