Last Sunday I was feeling inspired by the vegetables from my CSA box and the Off the Hook cod in my fridge and felt that they deserved to be cooked into something particularly delicious.
In mid-May, I started a batch of pickled lemons. (See recipe at the end of the post.) Lemons aren’t local, but I’m not a purist, and I couldn’t resist a lemon experiment. The lemons are packed in salt, and left to “pickle” for a month in a cool, dark location. Pickled lemons are commonly used in North African recipes. With the pickled lemons now ready to go, I felt that this lovely fish was just the thing with which to enjoy them. In one of my recipe books, Claudia Roden’s “The Book of Jewish Food”, there happens to be to be a recipe for Fish with Pickled Lemon. The recipe calls for bream, but our cod worked nicely in the recipe. We skinned the cod, but otherwise left it whole, and then marinated and cooked according to the recipe.
Next up: fava beans. I will admit that I hadn’t ever cooked fava beans before this night. Keeping with the Moroccan theme, the same recipe book had a recipe for coucous with boiled fava beans. I boiled them ever so slightly – 2 minutes tops – so they were still firm. Because we didn’t have many fava beans, I also threw in some sliced, sauteed zucchini.
On to the kolhrabi – another vegetable I had never cooked before, but was determined to use in my dinner. I opted for grating it (peeling it first) with a couple carrots in the food processor. Then made a simple salad with ginger lime dressing.
Ahhh… summer meals…
Adapted from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden
6 lemons (chose ones with thick skin)
6 tablespoons coarse or fine sea salt
Juice of 3 lemons or more
Wash and scrub lemons. Cut lemons into quarters. From Roden: “The classic Moroccan way is to cut each lemon in quarters but not right through, so that the pieces are still attached at the stem end, and to stuff each with plenty of salt.” Once stuffed with salt, stuff the lemons into a glass jar, and close the jar. Over 3-4 days, the juice will be drawn out of the lemons and the skins will soften. Press them down more, placing something heavy to on them to keep them down. (I used a mason jar full of water) and add additional lemon juice to cover the lemons entirely. Close jar and leave in a dark, cool place for at least a month. (I put mine in the refrigerator after one month to keep them from getting too strong; however, I don’t know if they is the usual method.) Rinse with water before using to get rid of the salt.
4 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro (I substituted parsley, because I don’t like cilantro)
1 large fish, approx 3 lbs (I used a cod)
2 or 3 pickled lemons
Mix oil, water, paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper and chopped cilantro/parsley. Marinate the fish in this for 1/2 hour.
Rinse pickled lemons, and cut into small pieces. Place the fish in a baking dish, with half of the lemons below and the over half on top. Pour the marinade over the fish. Bake uncovered at 425 F (220 C) for 20 minutes, or until fish is done.
1 cup dry couscous
2 cups boiling water
2-3 tablespoons butter
fava beans, green peas and/or sauteed zucchini (the original recipe calls for 1 lb. I didn’t weigh mine. I just used what I had in the house. See photo above for an idea of the amount.)
2-3 tablespoons raisins, soaked in water for 20 minutes
dash of cinnamon
Add boiling water to couscous. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Approximately half way through, add 1-2 tbsp of butter and fluff with a fork. Boil fava beans or peas. Because I like my beans on the crunchy side, I brought the water to a boil first, then added the beans and boiled for about 2 minutes. Saute zucchini slices, if using. Mix beans/peas/zucchini with a tablespoon (approx) of butter. Drain raisins. When the couscous is ready, top with the vegetables, raisins and a dash of cinnamon. Roden also notes that the some people serve this dish with yogurt.
Grated Carrot and Kohlrabi Salad
I didn’t use a recipe for this salad. (As usual – sorry!) Here’s what I did:
1 kolhrabi, peeled
2 carrots, peeled or not
Grate the kolhrabi and carrots by hand or in a food processor.
Dressing: 2 parts olive oil, 1 part lime juice, add grated fresh ginger to taste. Toss with carrots and kohlrabi.
Yours in food,