- Meyer lemon and couscous salad
Everybody knows the benefits of lemon.
I use lemon everywhere, I drink it, I use it on my skin as a toner, I brush my teeth with it.
I love its sunny colour, its acidity, its texture and the kick that gives to my dishes and my health.
The common lemons are Eureka or Lisbon lemon.
Less known but very common in California when in season the Meyer is smaller, rounder, the skin and pulp darker .
The physical difference is very distinct especially when you see them side by side.
Regarding the taste, the Meyer is a lot less acidic, so much that some people like to put the segments directly in their salad and some like me who eat them as oranges, just like that, as a fruit.
They are commonly grown in China where they are from and have been introduced to the United States in 1908 by Frank Meyer.
The delicate skin and high content of juice make them difficult to preserve and so, to travel long distance.
That enhance their sexyness when it comes to cooking. The white pith of the skin is so thin that it can be eaten and cooked entirely, rind included.
Like a star in California since the chef Alice Waters reintroduced them to embellished her dishes in late 1990′, I am waiting for them every year.
So, thank you Alice, they are glorious. It’s now or next year so let’s use them as much as we can.
I made a great couscous salad, middle eastern kind of, with meyer lemon, mint, hot chili, cinnamon….
Meyer lemon couscous salad, serves 2
– 150g of couscous semolina
– 1 quarter of Serano chili
– 1 quarter of red bell pepper
– Half of red onion
– 1 organic Meyer lemon (as we are going to keep the skin, organic is highly recommended)
– 1 tsp of raisins
– 3 dried apricots
– 2 sprigs of swiss chard
– 2 segments of orange
– A vegetable or beef cube stock
– Half of a tsp of ground cinnamon
– A handful of mint leaves
– Regular oil
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper
Dice your onion very small, heat a bit of oil and cook the onion slowly till it gets translucent.
Meanwhile boil half a liter of water with the cube stock.
When the onion is done add the couscous and stir. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, and season with salt and pepper.
Pour a bit of the stock to cover the semolina completely, stir and always keep an eye on it as the liquid will evaporate quite quickly.
When the couscous is dry, taste it, adjust the seasoning and add some more liquid if not cooked enough.
The cooking should take around 15min.
When ready, leave it to cool down completely.
Reuse the water with the stock to cook the chards sprigs or use some more with salt. Boil them for a few minutes, till tender.
Dice the red bell pepper and hot serano chili very small, slice the dried apricots and the meyer lemon very finely, wash the mint leaves, and cut the orange segments in little pieces as well as the lemon slices.
When the couscous is ready and well seasoned add the ingredients slowly, mix gently, cut the swiss chards leaves and stalks and add them to the top to give a bit of colour.
Make your vinaigrette with olive oil, the other half of the meyer lemon, salt, pepper and you can also add a bit or orange juice if you have some left.
Can be frozen.