Monday, April 15, 2013


This delicious Middle Eastern side dish was inspired by our Food Matters Project recipe this week. Aura from Dinner With Aura chose this weeks recipe Super-Lemony Kidney Beans by Mark Bittman. I substituted garbanzo beans for the kidney beans, left out the tomato paste and chile and sprinkled sumac over the finished dish. This recipe has a method for making "quick" preserved lemon. Normally when I make preserved lemons it's a month long waiting period however I have to say, Mark's quick method is pretty darn good. This recipe for the quick preserved lemons makes enough for leftovers. Keep a jar in the refrigerator, they get better with age and will keep for months. I love adding chopped preserved lemons to a pan sauce to serve over roast chicken or fish, or add some finely chopped lemons to hummus, gives it an extra kick!

These beans made a nice side dish for Turkish Lamb & Eggplant Kebabs.

You can find Mark's recipe using kidney beans on Aura's blog here and for our other members take of the recipe click here.


6 lemons

1 onion chopped
2 TBSP. minced garlic
1 TBSP. cumin seeds
1 TBSP. mustard seeds
4 cardamon pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 pound garbanzo or chickpeas (rinsed and soaked over night)
Ground sumac for garnish

Heat the oven to 325~. Trim the ends from 4 of the lemons; quarter them, remove the seeds, and put them (rind included) in a food processor. Add the juice of the remaining 2 lemons to the food processor (again, without the seeds) along with 2 tsp. salt. Pulse several times to chop the lemons into bits but don't puree. Put the mixture in a jar and leave it on the counter while you cook the beans; shake it every once in a while.

Put the oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute more. Stir in the cumin, mustard seeds, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick. 

Add the garbanzo beans and water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and bake for about 2 hours. After 2 hours, stir the beans and check to see if they are tender. Cook a little longer if they are not tender and make sure the beans are covered by 1 inch of water. When the beans are tender add 1/2 cup of the preserved lemons. Cover and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

When the beans are completely tender and the liquid has thickened, fish out the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding pepper, salt, and more lemons if you like.

Serve, garnished with ground sumac.

Beans can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated for several days. Gently reheat before serving.

Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman


Aura said...

I'm so glad the chickpea version turned out! And I had no idea that it took a month to make preserved lemons normally. Reminds me of when I make sauerkraut. It takes a really long time and it's hard to gauge when to make the next batch. This time I jumped the gun and the whole bottom of my fridge is full of sauerkraut :)

Lexi said...

It was really good Aura....and I had no idea it takes a long time to make sauerkraut!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing a link to what these beans would be good with- I always have a problem with finding sides/meals to put together and that it doesn't look weird/different tastes. Like the idea of substituting garbanzo's, I prefer them better anyway! And I'll definitely have to make some preserved lemon, it's on the "to-make" list, I just haven't gotten to it!

Lexi said...

Evi, The lamb kabobs were amazing! There is nothing better than the 4 week method of preserving lemons. The rind is transformed into something hard to describe. Mark's method works well in a pinch!