Preserved lemon: is there anything it can’t do? Since becoming increasingly intolerant to everything under the sun, I’ve had to try and get a bit more creative with how I flavour things. Garlic and onion, the pinnacles of flavour, remain out of the question. So today I figured I’d detail my heavy reliance on preserved lemons with this preserved lemon roasted pumpkin number.
The dish is FODMAP friendly, gluten free and nut free. It can also be SIBO bi-phasic friendly, if you use homemade 24 hour yoghurt.
PRESERVED LEMON ROASTED PUMPKIN
As you might have guessed, the flavour burst in this dish comes from the preserved lemons. Made simply with lemon salt and time, the flavour of preserved lemons is like nothing else. Bold, sweet and full bodied, it can liven up anything in a way that the lemon itself can’t.
Preserved lemon has a tendency to be a little bit expensive in the shops. I attribute this to the time it takes for it to preserve – a month or so. The process of making them and the ingredients themselves are very straightforward. The time component, however, can be a little prohibitive to the average person.
However you choose to get your hands on preserved lemons, they really are critical to the dish.
FODMAP AND SIBO NOTES
- I use Japanese or Kent pumpkin to keep the FODMAP content down for this dish.
- If you’re catering to a vegan diet, simply swap the dairy yoghurt for a plant based one. Lactose intolerant? Use a lactose free yoghurt. If you’re on the SIBO diet, make sure you use 24 hour homemade yoghurt.
- You could use half pumpkin and half another vegetable to remain SIBO compliant. Just make sure you cook them in order of hardiness.
- If you’re making the nutty kind of grain free tabbouleh, make sure you keep the nuts per serve under the recommended quantities.
FLAVOUR + SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this would be great with some pomegranate arils or even a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
- Toasted pine nuts would go down a treat too, or even toasted walnuts. See notes on the optional salad below.
- A little chilli oil (I like Aleppo chilli oil because it’s smokey and mild) would make for the perfect drizzle.
- To bulk it out, you could serve the preserved lemon roasted pumpkin on a bed of spiced quinoa. I have a recipe here.
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE NUT AND HERB NUMBER
Remaking this recipe some four years later, I decided that I wanted to bulk it out a little. I’m currently on an elimination diet that prohibits grains, so I made a toasted nut and herb ‘salad’ for a bit of padding. If you’d like to do the same:
- Toast 1/2 – 1 cup of walnuts and 1/4 – 1/2 cups of pine nuts (this depends on how much you like/can tolerate nuts). Once toasted to your liking, chop them into reasonably small pieces.
- Finely chopped 2 bunches of herbs, or one bunch of herbs and a handful of spinach or rocket. I used continential parsley and mint.
- Drizzle the herbs with a good glug of olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of white vinegar and a bit of honey. Season well.
- Stir through 3/4 of the nuts, reserving some for garnish.
- When the pumpkin is ready, serve it up with this nutty number.
FODMAP FRIENDLY FLAVOURINGS: A LIST
Here, I must acknowledge that not everybody wants to spend upwards of $10 on what is essentially a condiment, and not everyone has a month to spare, what are some other FODMAP friendly flavourings?
- Furikake. This is a Japanese sesame and seaweed condiment that generally contains fish flakes. I like to make mine at home, so I’m guaranteed they contain nothing that will set me off – and I omit the fish flakes for a vego/vegan option
- Herbs. All of the herbs! Personally I can’t deal with chives (or spring onion) but the green parts of spring onion are considered FODMAP friendly, if you feel ok eating them
- Spices. Time to get nifty with making your own spice blends, because a lot of them contain onion and garlic powder. Asafoetida powder is worth looking into (it has a distinctly onion/garlic taste and is therefore a great substitute – find it in Indian grocers) but I personally feel sick smelling it. It’s all down to what works for you.
- Stock. A great FODMAP friendly stock can take your vegetables, quinoa, or whatever, to the next level. Make sure it contains no onion.
- Lemon and lime, juice and rind. Sprinkle it on literally everything, pls.
- Mustard and apple cider vinegar. These are great for tossing through salads to make them exciting. Also great for roasting.
For the preserved lemon roasted pumpkin
- 700-800 g Pumpkin I used Kent because it’s more FODMAP friendly
- 1-2 tablespoons preserved lemon juice the more the merrier
- 2 ¼ pieces of preserved lemon chopped
- Drizzle of honey (1/2 tablespoon or so)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 chilli chopped (chilli flakes are a good substitute if you forgot a chilli)
- Greek yoghurt (as much as you fancy)
- 1 handful coriander chopped
- Pomegranate optional
Optional toasted nut and herb 'salad'
- 2 bunches herbs of choice (or 1 bunch herbs and 1 handful spinach or rocket/arugula (I used mint and continential parsley)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Drizzle of honey
- Seasoning, to taste
- Dash of white vinegar, if it needs it
- 1/2 - 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup pinenuts, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, preserved lemon pieces and juice, chilli, and seasoning. Once combined, rub the mixture into each slice of pumpkin. You can allow it to sit and marinate if you have the time.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper, and spread the pumpkin slices out evenly, covering them in the leftover sauce. Place into the oven and cook for anywhere between 20-40 minutes - this will depend on how thickly you slice your pumpkin.
- To assemble, spread the yoghurt over your assembly vessel of choice, followed by the pumpkin and coriander. I like to top it with a second chilli, and a bit of salt and pepper. I also really like it with some pomegranate arils, which is a word I have enjoyed ever since learning it (although keep in mind that they are not particularly FODMAP friendly, if that's your thing)
- If you're making the herb and toasted nut addition, mix the herbs with all the ingredients except the nuts. Adjust for seasoning before adding in 3/4 of the nuts. Use the remaining nuts to top the pumpkin dish at the end.