Preserved lemons can be found at specialty foods stores. They add intense lemony and slightly exotic flavors to a dish and, since the entire lemon including the pith and zest is used, a fun texture, too. Thompson soaks the lemons overnight to cut back on their overpowering saltiness, but they'll still be plenty salty, so consider under-seasoning dishes until you're comfortable working with them. Use the vinaigrette in Thompson's applications or have fun folding it into dishes that have strong flavors of their own; the dressing can stand up to them.
To learn more, read "Gabe Thompson's Secret Weapon."
Preserved Lemon and Hot Pickle Brine Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from Gabe Thompson, L'Apicio, New York, NY
Yield: ¾ cup
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus soaking time
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 15 minutes, plus soaking time
1 preserved lemon, soaked overnight in fresh water
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, hot pickled pepper brine (such as B&G brand)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1. Rinse the soaked preserved lemon in cold water and slice it lengthwise into 4 pieces. Using a spoon or paring knife, scrape off the pith and discard.
2. Finely dice the preserved lemon flesh and transfer it to a small bowl. Stir in the pickled pepper brine, olive oil, shallots and fresh lemon zest. Serve over roasted vegetables or toss with salad greens.