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Moroccan Recipes with Preserved Lemon

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Once you've sampled preserved lemons, you'll understand why they've become such a popular – and essential – ingredient in Moroccan cooking. Here's a list of recipes which call for this tangy, salty and delightful addition.

If you're planning to make your own preserved lemons, be aware that they need a full month to cure before they're ready to use in cooking and salads.

1. Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

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Moroccan Roasted Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives is perhaps the most popular of Moroccan dishes which use preserved lemons. Along with saffron and ginger, they provide key flavor to this and other tagines.

2. Lamb or Beef with Preserved Lemon and Olives

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Surprisingly easy to make, this traditional dish may be prepared with lamb, beef or goat meat. The recipe explains procedure for using a conventional pot or pressure cooker, but also links to the preparation method when using a clay or ceramic tagine.

3. Moroccan Fish Tagine

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Use fresh or preserved lemon in this traditional fish and veggie tagine. A Moroccan marinade called chermoula adds plenty of flavor, but you can make things a bit fiery by adding cayenne or chili pepper.

4. Moroccan Style Cauliflower

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Moroccan spices and preserved lemon transform a head of cauliflower into an exciting side dish full of flavor and color. You might also consider offering it as a light vegetarian entree.

5. Spinach Salad with Preserved Lemon and Olives

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
I don't normally like steamed or sauteed spinach, but this cooked salad boasts such incredible flavor that it's become a personal favorite. Seasoned with olive oil, garlic, herbs and spices, it should be offered as a dip with wedges of Moroccan bread.

6. Djaj Souiri

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
The sauce in this Essaouir-style chicken dish is flavored (in part) with finely diced preserved lemon rind. It's an absolutely delicious and special meal to prepare for guests or family.

7. Tagine of Chicken with Fennel

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Fennel is a popular vegetable in Morocco, and here it lends subtle anise flavor to this chicken tagine. Ginger, saffron and Ras el Hanout provide aromatic seasoning.

8. Beef or Lamb Tagine with Carrots

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Zesty seasoning and tangy preserved lemons contrast perfectly with the natural sweetness of carrots. If you like things fiery, offer a little harissa on the side.

9. Lamb with Cabbage

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Cabbage may not make it onto your shopping list most weeks, but do give this dish a try. It's a surprisingly delicious way to prepare this Vitamin-C abundant vegetable.

10. Lamb or Beef Tagine with Cardoons

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Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Although many Americans have never tried cardoons, in Morocco they're quite popular, particularly when prepared in this classic tagine recipe with preserved lemons and olives. How to Clean Cardoons shows how to prep the vegetable for cooking.
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