Posts Tagged ‘recipe


uses for lemons 006: preserved lemons

The beautiful mix of flavours, colours, textures; the sumptuous delights of far off places; the hints of allure, history and splendour-I adore Middle Eastern food. And thus, I am enamoured with preserved lemons, which I make every year and use in vegetables, couscous and tagines. The salt softens the acidity of the lemon, it becomes something else. Almost sweet. They have a very distinctive flavour and add a burst of summer to your dish.

How to make preserved lemons

To make yourself a big, beautiful jar of sunshine, wash your lemons by working them over with a vegetable brush and rinsing. Cut them as if quartering but don’t go all the way through the fruit. Fill the cuts with lots of salt and squish them into a jar that has been scrupulously washed, sterilised and dried. The jar will start filling up with the juice that has been drawn out of the lemons. Fill the jar right up, pressing the lemons down well. Top up with more salt and extra lemon juice. Don’t be scared of using too much salt-you’re using it to preserve the fruit, you won’t be eating a lot of the salt. Seal the jar and remember to shake it every day for the first week. Now pop it away somewhere cool and dark to mature for a month.

How to use preserved lemons

To amaze friends and love ones with an easy-to-do, no-fuss but sensationally-delicious recipe a la Peta Mathias. First, find yourself a leg of lamb. Take a sheet of baking paper (or bring out the tagine), place your lamb on a bed of thyme and rosemary with a few cloves of garlic and some quarters of preserved lemon. Tie the baking paper into a nice little package with some string (or just close the tagine). Cook for about 2.5 hours  in the oven at 170°C . In the meantime whip up a pomegranate sauce and cook some veges, maybe a little couscous. The lamb will be falling off the bone and the flavours will be symphonic.

Preserved lemons can also be used to add flair and zest to salads and couscous. Just rinse the lemons before use and chop into the accompanying dish.


See more of LovePlantLife’s uses for lemons.


Pomegranate Sauce Recipe

1/2 cup pomegranate molasses

1/3 cup orange juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 shallots

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon orange peel

pinch of cayenne

a flash of black pepper

Bring to the boil and whisk occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.

Goes beautifully with a roast leg of lamb.

Passed on to me by Anne.


Uses for lemons 003: Cleaning raw eggs

Does your favourite salad dressing call for raw egg but you’re a bit angsty because of the salmonella risk? Lemon power will save the day. Add 20ml of lemon juice per egg, stir gently and refrigerate the mix for 48 hours. You can store this mix in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use, thaw the eggs in the fridge overnight.

Image of a raw egg (after being soaked in vinegar for 48 hours) by Wikipedia user Biswarup Ganguly.

See more of LovePlantLife’s Uses for lemons.


Uses for lemons 002: Lemon curd

1 cup sugar
100 g butter
Juice and zest of 4 lemons
4 eggs lightly whisked

Place the sugar, butter and lemony bits in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Add the eggs and stir continuously over a low heat until the mixture thickens. Simple. Store in the fridge and experiment widely with its use. Bread products will never be the same.

Warning: If you make lemon curd you’ll start licking anything this stuff touches. If you are not used to eating a lot of citrus, your mouth may soon go super-tingly from the acid. You have been warned.

Image used under Creative Commons from: poetas, on Flickr

See more of LovePlantLife’s Uses for lemons



Leaves 001: Linking out to the plant web world

Alaskan summer

Algae garden

Tamarillo & Vanilla Jam

Sunblock prints

NZ winter fungi

Thread Cakes

So this looks pretty, but does it work…

Hopefully, if you click on the images above you should be taken off to the far-flung reaches of the interweb to find moments of botanical splendour.

I’ve been playing with the code for this for ages and there’s something glitchy in the software. If the links aren’t working above, I have included them below. It would be a shame to miss out.

Alaskan Summers are real pretty.

The International Garden Festival is on and features a striking algae garden.

Lynda Hallinan’s Winter Tamarillo and Vanilla Jam looks yum.

Sunblock prints look to be quite the thing this year.

Look at New Zealand’s very pretty winter fungi, thanks to Te Papa.

Completely not plant-related but really quite phenomenal…Have you heard of ThreadCakes?


Saffron Harvest

Saffron makes me dream of exotic adventures in Arabia, Persia and India, but I’ve just had my very first saffron harvest a million miles away in little ol’ New Zealand. It won’t provide my yearly requirements, nor make me a fortune. But it may provide me with a winter’s supply of this spicy saffron drink to strengthen the body and warm the heart.

I tend to get all spicy at this time of year, adding exotic flavours to everything not only for great food but to summon their healing powers to keep me wholesome over the winter. Saffron is one of the very few of such ingredients I can grow in my own backyard. Should the end of civilisation arrive anytime soon please, please let me have enough stocks of cloves, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, turmeric, ginseng, dried pomegranate seeds. Oh and chocolate! There must be chocolate.

Spicy Saffron Elixir

Take a pinch of each of the following powdered spices and add them to a pot of black tea. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg and saffron. Steep for 3 minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey or raw sugar.


We’ve Bean Harvesting

The last of the scarlet runner beans are in, with a large amount destined for the seed bank. I consider this year’s growing season a success. Easy to grow, healthy and vigorous plants that looked stunning against the house – dense lush green climbers with beautiful scarlet flowers.

As this was my first year growing these beauties, I’m completely new to cooking them. I planned to simply dry them and use in casseroles over the coming months. But being a tapas kind of girl this recipe over at courtesy of Andrea has intrigued me:

I cook them, cool them, then toss with minced raw garlic, olive oil, a little sea salt and some chopped fresh parsley or coriander. Then, eat like popcorn!

If they prove to be too tasty, seed stocks may be down next year ;)

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Social Media

Follow Me on Pinterest
January 2020
« Feb    

%d bloggers like this: