Cooking A Symphony with Free ~ Part 2
Refreshing Summer Recipes using Preserved Lemons
Our day cooking with Free was filled with so many variations of deliciousness from the lemon infused hummus,a Moroccan inspired chickpea tangine,to a lemon artichoke pasta with an incredible gluten free pasta I’ve just discovered using almond flour. Free’s talent is in her artistic interpretation of recipes. It is almost like she is creating her music but with food. Adding to a symphony with a touch of masala, touching on a note of savory with arugula, and changing a melody by adding lemon preserve.
For more organic, all-natural seasonal recipes using local ingredients, see The Local Rose.
Garam Masala Hummus with Preserved Lemon
2 c chickpeas soaked and cooked, with 1⁄2 cup reserved water or 2 cans chickpeas, one drained, one with reserved liquid.
1 clove garlic
1⁄2 entire preserved lemon, rinsed 2 teaspoons garam masala
1⁄4 c tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
Place all ingredients in a Vitamix, blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Serve in bowl topped with regular or Hungarian paprika and drizzle of olive oil with your favorite chips or vegetables.
Moroccan Vegan Tagine with Preserved Lemons
2 tbsp organic canola or grape seed oil. 1 yellow onion, cut in half-moons 2 of each, cut into 3⁄4” to 1” pieces:
2 red potatoes medium sized, 2 roughly peeled zucchini, 2 peel-striped
2 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
2 heaping tbsp cumin (toasted and ground is best) 1⁄4-1⁄2 tsp Hungarian paprika
2 large thumb-sized pieces of peeled ginger, minced or sliced thin water + extra on hand
1 large pinch saffron threads
1.5 cinnamon sticks
Large handful of each: green olives, raw almonds, dried apricots, sliced in thirds, cilantro (salt to taste)
14.5 oz can Muir Glen brand (BPA-free) diced tomatoes organic tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
1 preserved lemon, rinsed, skin only, sliced in thin, 3/4 cups dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked, or 2 cans, drained
1. In a prepared Tagine or deep skillet on medium heat, sauté onion with approximately 2 tablespoons oil until softened, not browned, approx. 4 minutes.
2. Turn heat a little higher, medium-high, and add potatoes. To expedite cooking, put lid on for a couple of minutes. Stir, repeat. They should feel firm and cooked about 2/3 through (approx. 7 minutes).
3. Add garlic, ginger and sauté until soft and sizzling, not browned. Then add tomatoes, saffron, cinnamon sticks, cumin, Hungarian paprika, water, sugar and tomato paste, stirring until evenly mixed. Cinnamon sticks should be in the liquid to infuse the dish. Turn heat back to medium.
4. Add preserved lemon, carrot, zucchini, apricots, chickpeas and olives. Liquid is relative to your pan size – add water to adjust sauce, which should stay at the halfway mark of the dish. Add a little tomato paste should it feel like it is getting too diluted. TIP: Cover dish when you are comfortable with sauce liquid level in pan, and vegetables will cook faster.
5. In approximately 7 minutes check the vegetables. Stir, and cook a few more minutes. Once the potatoes are soft, vegetables cooked yet still firm, turn heat off.
6. Finishing touch: Add almonds and stir. Taste the sauce and then add salt, as well as any of the other spices to adjust to your liking. Serve topped with fresh chopped cilantro, over couscous or quinoa, with harissa, yogurt or flatbread.
VARIATIONS: Add shrimp. Make alternative tagine, substituting carrot with butternut squash, add cauliflower, black instead of green olives, golden raisins instead of apricot. Use this recipe’s sauce and spice base to create your own favorite mix. Have fun!
Arugula Pistachio Pesto with Preserved Lemon
salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
3 cups arugula (your favorite variety, wild, regular or baby)
1 garlic clove (whole if using a Vitamix, pressed if other type of blender)1 preserved lemon, rinsed, skin and flesh
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (plus more on hand, to taste)
1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios, roasted* 1/2 cup good olive oil (plus more on hand)
Place arugula, garlic, preserved lemon, cheese in blender. Start to pulsate the blender, and then slowly add olive oil. Add pistachios. The desired consistency is a partially smooth pesto, with tiny broken pieces of pistachio in the texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper flakes, and perhaps add more preserved lemon to your preference. Use immediately or store, refrigerated in an airtight container, Bring to room temperature before serving.
*Place on roasting tray, 350° oven. Check them at 5 minutes, shake around. Watch carefully, should only take a couple of minutes after that. They burn quickly. Don’t leave the room!
Pasta, artichokes (Monterrey farms artichokes pictured), more minced preserved lemon skin in the pasta dish.
Top grilled fish (salmon is delish), chicken, shrimp
Goes well with pasta salads mixed with fresh cut corn, sundried tomatoes, asparagus, grilled squash
Serve with eggs
Sandwiches, wraps… have fun!
1)Do you feel your music feeds your ability to create dishes or vice versa? It doesn’t happen consciously, but I am sure having two creative careers overflows and cross-pollinates everything.
2) What are three things that shaped you into the being you are today? (Four): My challenging upbringing, yoga, my grandparents, and my spiritual mother, who came into my life when I was 20, helped me not fall apart and showed me thru a spiritual path, unconditional love and non-judgment how to heal.
3) You are very philanthropic and generous with your heart. Why do you feel service is good for our souls? Service is this magical “sleeper hit” on how to access peace–or even get by–as a human being. As soon as you connect, as soon as you come together, and give something of yourself, it creates this reciprocal chain of good energy. It can be as simple as smiling and saying hello to a stranger, complimenting someone, or listening to someone. At the core we are all One. Feeling like you have nowhere else to turn in your life? Ask yourself, “What can I do today for someone else?”
I started Adopt-A-Kitchen www.facebook.com/adoptakitchen, where I go into group homes to teach single moms how to cook economically and clean for their families, even using their EBT cards. At the end of the last phase, I put up a wish list for each mom’s “starter kitchen.” My fan base cleaned it out in a week! Now I’m with the second group of moms, and want to see more people get involved and have it grow. As a side note, I started this at a very difficult time in my life. This is the beautiful healing power of helping others. Their interest, love and care helped me, too.
4) Do you have a beauty routine?
- Beauty, to me, is first an Inside Job – I do not let myself stay in “down” places.
- Meditation, Reiki, Yoga, Hiking, Cardio–and–Tracy Anderson Arm workout!
- Always purified water (no BPA bottles), very minimal alcohol in my life. It doesn’t make me feel great, but it also breaks down collagen in your skin. Who needs that?
- Rarely, if ever, compromise on sleep
- Organic sunscreen. I use moisturizers that have little to no extra ingredients. Sesame, Coconut, Jojoba oil, Shea Butter.
- Acid! Alpha-hydroxy acids on a daily basis help keep your skin clear and glowing! I have been using Theraderm Fruit Acid Exfoliant daily for–ahem–16 years.
5) What are three ingredients you always have stocked in your kitchen? Homemade curry blends, Pickles (I always have a random assortment of pickled items from cherries to fennel to preserved lemons), Maldon salt
6) What or where is your favorite meal?
Home: Avocado on toast with lemon olive oil and Maldon salt.
Dining: Red Medicine Los Angeles, and ABC Kitchen, NYC
Casual: Grazin’ diner in Hudson, NY. 100% organic. They won’t even put a tomato on a sandwich if they’re not in season. Nothing is sourced further than 15 miles down the road. They make their own syrup, catsup, hot sauces–you name it.
International: Le P’tit Fernand, small family owned café, Saint Germain des-Prés, Paris
7) Are you a mermaid or forest fairy? Forest fairy all the way J
8) How do you see yourself in ten years? Hey Universe, I got the message if I plan you’ll kick my arse. So… I’ll just live for Now and be surprised beyond my wildest dreams. One thing I know for sure, I will be living joyfully.
9) Do you have a motto or creed you live by? “I work on myself to help others. I help others to work on myself. That is what the emerging game is all about.” ~Ram Dass
10) Last song you listened to or sang to? I’m working on 2 albums right now, so as cheesy as it sounds, a lot of my own. As far as others–I am sure it was a Led Zeppelin song at the top of my lungs.