Once you discover how easy it is to make your own preserved lemons, you’ll then be on a mission to find ways to use them. We have two recipes in one here: both use garlic, parsley and preserved lemon, and one adds in dried mushrooms and cashew cream to fill out the flavour. You could also use normal dairy cream, and it would probably be delicious.
The first is perfect for a light appetiser. The other, the one with the mushrooms and cream, is richer and is better as a small first course.
When we did the taste test, the verdict was that the mushrooms and cream intensified the lemon flavour, but in the nicest possible way. I personally prefer the plainer version, so we take my serve out before adding the mushrooms and cream when making it for the family.
Both versions are going with me to Fiesta Friday, with Angie and her friends, Margy @La Petite Casserole and Sylvia @Superfoodista. Everyone there seems to have different tastes, so maybe you all can tell me which you like more?
Update: Angie and her hosts like it so much, they decided to give it a special place in Fiesta Friday feature-dom!
Garlic and preserved lemon with tagliatelle
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 2 slices of preserved lemon (about ¼ of the lemon)
- water and a little olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of parsley
- 2 balls of tagliatelle
- optional: dried mushroom and cashew cream (or dairy cream) (see notes)
Before you start
If you are going to use dried mushroom, soak it in a small bowl of boiling water before you even start the pasta. Dried mushrooms take about 15-30 minutes to soften, so you need to give yourself enough time.
- Boil the tagliatelle in heavily salted water until it’s al dente. Drain well when it’s done and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce as follows:
- Wash the preserved lemon, discarding the pulp (you can keep some of it if you want to intensify the flavour, but most people will find that a bit salty).
- Chop the garlic and preserved lemon very finely, then mix them with a little olive oil and a tablespoon or two of water in a bowl. Cover the bowl and microwave it on medium for about 3 minutes. Check it: can you mash the garlic yet? If yes, then go to the next step. If you can’t, then microwave for another 2 minutes and check again.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and mash the garlic and lemon into a fine pulp. (Don’t expect a fine puree—you’d be mashing a lot time for that.)
- Tip this into a saucepan, add a little extra water, and simmer for a few minutes. This step develops the flavours more than you can in a microwave. Don’t ask me why, it just does.
- Optional: The dried mushroom should be well soaked and soft by now. Chop it finely and stir it into the sauce with the cream (cashew or dairy). Simmer this for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have cooked through. If you need extra liquid, use the water from soaking the mushrooms. it’ll give your sauce a really rich, mushroomy flavour.
- Tip the drained pasta into a large bowl and mix with the garlic and lemon sauce.
- Stir in some fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.
You can sidestep the microwave by roasting the garlic in an oven first, but that would add an hour to the whole process, and force you to heat up your kitchen just for some garlic! No thanks. But if you do decide a hot kitchen and roasted garlic are your thing, you can just mix the (roasted) garlic pulp and chopped (mashed) lemon in the saucepan and proceed from there.
Dried mushrooms: we use a sixth of a large saffron milkcap mushroom from our mushrooming adventure (the mushrooms are cut into halves, then each half cut into thirds to dry). I’m sorry, but I can’t give accurate amounts. You’ll have to experiment and see what you like.
Cashew cream is a good alternative to normal dairy cream. To make it, soak the cashews in some hot water for a few hours (pour the water on and go and do something else for a while), then pour the cashews into a blender. Whiz it, and add as much of the soaking water as you need to get the consistency you want.