On the hunt for something a little exotic I often turn to my jar of preserved lemons & Silvena Rowe. I first came across Silvena when browsing around the cookbooks on Amazon. A quick glimpse of this book & I was drawn right in. Who could fail to be drawn to book called Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume? It was all too exotic for words. It somehow sneaked on to the order & in to my kitchen without a second glance.
It is a modern twist on the exotic flavours of the Eastern Mediterranean. Honey, cinnamon, saffron, sumac, pomegranate, hibiscus, rose & orange blossom waters all make an appearance here & there in some mouth watering recipes alongside exquisite photography. So when I just happened to be browsing at Cook the Books & saw Silvena Rowe’s Orient Express, again I couldn’t resist temptation. As Oscar always said “I can resist everything but temptation.”
And again I fell in love, another treasure trove of recipes, with a hint of the exotic to liven things up & transport you for just a little while to another world. This time round it is more small plates for sharing, so it is perfect for a little Summer entertaining & a crowd to feed.
And then there are my preserved lemons. I always have a jar of these on hand made fro the last of the season’s lemons. The bright zesty lemon becomes fragrant & perfume like. They’ll lift a salad, couscous or tagine from run of the mill to a little exotic in a flash & I think a little of the exotic every now & then can only be a good thing.
On a first read through it was these pork & cumin sausages that caught my eye, or maybe it was the salad on the side. Fennel with preserved lemons, olives & fresh coriander. Light, crunchy & just popping with flavour; fresh, fragrant, briny & a burst of aromatic coriander. Yes please!
Spiced Pork & Cumin Sausages with Fennel & Preserved Lemon Salad , from Silvena Rowe's Orient Express
For the sausage
500g ground pork
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper
For the salad
2 small fennel bulbs, sliced paper thin
1 preserved lemon, pulp removed, rind finely sliced
10 green olives, chopped
Small bunch coriander, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper
3-4 tbsp thick yoghurt
A few preserved green chillies
Flatbread or pita*
*If you are in Auckland for lovely thin, soft pita that are far superior to any at the supermarket head to La Cigale, the French Markets held every Saturday & Sunday morning.
To make the sausages place all the pork, garlic, cumin, nutmeg, coriander, mint, oregano, chilli flakes & a little of the water in a medium sized bowl. Mix it all together with your hand until it is moist but not too sticky. Season with a little salt & pepper & shape in to 16 small sausages. Place a medium sized frying pan with a little olive oil or griddle over a high heat & grill the sausages for 3-5 minutes each side until golden & cooked through.
For the salad mix together the fennel, preserved lemon, olives and coriander in a small bowl. Season to taste & drizzle with the olive oil & lemon juice.
To serve arrange the sausages, flatbread or pita salad & chillies & let everyone help themselves.
A delicious little supper on a Summer evening. The sausages are savoury & juicy against the slightly bitter, bold & tangy salad all wrapped up in a little yoghurt, pita & if you like a little heat the pickled chillies.
If you like this you might like this South East Asian Street Food at Cook the Books & a Pork Larb Salad.
One year ago Huevos Con Chile or Mexican Scramble