I’ve been having some great fun experimenting with preserved lemon this week, adding them to anything I can think of. This dish encapsulates a number of those experiments, providing a nutritious balance of grains, beans, veg and nuts. Orzo is a fantastic pasta to work with, it cooks in no time at all and brings body to many a dish.
A number of elements from this recipe come from my garden, the baby kale, dill, garlic and spring onion were all picked moments before being added. If you’d prefer it (or can’t get it), substitute the baby kale with baby spinach or another small, tender green. The general idea is to add some greenery to the plate without it being overwhelming.
The preserved lemon plays a starring role on this plate, without being too overpowering. I hope it gives you some ideas about how you can use your lemons as they really are a wonderful addition to any well stocked pantry. I’ve got a couple more recipes I’ve been working and will bring them to you during the week.
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 3 cups water
- 1 vego stock cube
- 1 tspn butter
- 5-6 mushrooms – I used swiss browns, roughly chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbspn balsamic vinegar
- 1 tspn brown sugar
- 1 large handful of baby kale (or other greens), tough stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 can white cannellini beans, rinsed
- ½ preserved lemon, pith removed and finely chopped
- 1 good-sized handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- 10 kalamata olives, seeds removed and roughly chopped
- 30g of feta cheese, crumbled (*optional)
- 1 tbspn of flaked almonds, lightly
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring water to the boil.
- Add the stock cube and pasta and cook according to packet directions.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt the butter over a medium-high heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until moisture has been released – about 5 minutes.
- Add the spring onion and garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and caramelise – about 5 minutes.
- Add the kale leaves and cook until bright green and just tender.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the beans to the pan and cook for a minute or so to heat through and then add the preserved lemon and dill. Mix well and cook for a minute or so until the dill is just starting to wilt.
- Drain off the pasta and add the lemon juice and olive oil.
- Add the mushroom mix, beans, olives, cheese and almonds to the pasta and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper.