Spinach with Garlic & Preserved Lemon
Inspired by a falling jar of preserved lemons, I added some to a spinach side dish. Tart, salty lemons are a wonderful addition to the earthy taste of spinach. This easy recipe is a keeper.
2 large bunches of spinach or Swiss chard
2 Tbsp. garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. harissa or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup minced preserved lemon peel (peel from 1 preserved lemon) or 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon peel (see NOTE)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Wash spinach in two changes of water to remove all the grit. Remove and discard the stems and tear any large leaves into pieces. (If using Swiss chard, reserve stalks for another use.)
Sauté garlic, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, in olive oil over medium heat until garlic softens. Don’t let garlic brown. Stir in harissa.
Add spinach, and stir until it wilts (you may need to add spinach a little at a time so it fits in pan). When all spinach is wilted, remove it from heat, taste and add salt, pepper, or harissa, as needed. Stir in minced preserved lemon peel and lemon juice and serve immediately.
NOTE: Preserved lemons are often used in Moroccan cooking. They are tart, salty, and very easy to make. If you use my recipe for preserved lemons, you’ll have to let lemons cure for at least a week before you can use them. If you don’t want to bother making your own, you may buy preserved lemons at Middle Eastern markets, specialty stores, and online. To use preserved lemons, remove lemon from brine in which it is swimming and rinse it well. Remove flesh, and any stringy bits from inside of peel. The peel is now ready to use.