Friday, August 12, 2011

Green Bean Salad with Feta and Preserved Lemons

Need some more ideas for how to use your green beans!  Here's a good one.


2 bunches green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
2/3 of a preserved lemon (see instructions below)
1 tablespoon each lemon thyme and lemon verbena leaves (optional)
Handful of fresh, chopped parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


Steam the green beans in a small amount of water on the stove for approx. 10 min. (or to your desired softness).  Drain beans and rinse in cold water to stop cooking process.

Rinse preserved lemon. Cut off about 2/3 of the lemon, scraping flesh from the rind. Finely chop the rind; save flesh for another purpose.
Remove the leaves from lemon thyme and lemon verbena stems, if using. Mince leaves.

In a large bowl, place minced preserved lemon rind, minced lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and chopped parsley. Add cooled green beans, along with olive oil. Toss until ingredients are incorporated.  Add lemon juice and black pepper. Toss again. Finally, sprinkle crumbled feta over the top.

To Make Preserved Lemons

All you need are washed and preferably organic lemons (either Eurekas or Meyers), kosher salt, and a glass jar with a tight lid that has been sterilized by running it through the dishwasher. Meyer lemons (which are a cross between a lemon and a tangerine or orange) have a floral, complex, and less puckery taste than regular lemons.

Make two cuts in each lemon so that the quarters created remain attached. Stuff kosher salt into the crevices of the lemons, then place salted lemons tightly into the glass jar. If you have one or two leftover lemons, you may squeeze the juice into the jar before closing it, but you don’t have to. This just gives the lemons a little bit of a head start.

Place the jar on a countertop, and then just watch and wait. Over the next few days, more and more juice will exude from the lemons, filling the jar. You can give it a shake now and then — or not — to keep the salt blended well in the liquid. In about three weeks, the lemons will get very soft, and the brining liquid thick and cloudy. Once that happens, you can store the jar in the refrigerator. As long as the brine covers the lemons, they’ll keep for about a year refrigerated.

To use, pick a lemon or part of one out of the jar with a clean fork. Give the lemon a quick rinse. Remove any seeds. Then, use the peel however you like -- chopped or sliced in thin slivers. Some people discard the flesh, but you can add some of the chopped flesh in with the rind in whatever you're making.

Use preserved lemons in your favorite Moroccan chicken tagine recipes. Or stir it into tuna salad for sandwiches, pasta salad, bean salad, vinaigrettes, marinades for fish or Cornish game hens, or in couscous or quinoa topped with toasted pine nuts.

With their bright, salty-citrus taste and jammy texture, you’ll find that preserved lemons add complexity and depth to so many dishes.

Of course, there are faster ways to make preserved lemons. Some people boil the lemons in the jar in a water bath, thereby cooking the lemons, and making them ready to use the very next day. Others freeze the lemons first, so they start to break down.

Total Servings: 4

Adapted from:
The Food Gal
WebMD Recipe from

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