When Michael Lee West, prolific author, fabulous photographer & blogger extraordiaire, invited me to be part of her & her son, Tyler's (aka Bandwith) "Mystery Ingredient Party", I was tickled pink...no, make that YELLOW!!
Michael Lee sent me this 'care package' of incredibly luscious lemon delights, to be used in the preparation of a special dish of my choosing! Thanks a million, ML, for such a kind, generous gift !!
Just look at these beautiful jars...they are like little GOLDEN treasures, just waiting to add their enticing flavors to enhance a recipe. They were almost too pretty to open but how exciting! My imagination ran wild with ideas.
Anybody who has read my blog for even a little while, knows how much I ♥ LEMON!
I'd rather eat something LEMON over chocolate any day. I request LEMON meringue pie every year for my birthday, instead of cake.
If they made a LEMON perfume, I would buy it & honestly, wear it every day.
Thank you so very much, ML, for inviting me to participate and for supplying the "mystery ingredients" as well. I am honored & very grateful to be included in the stellar group of cooks.
I googled & searched for recipes using preserved "Meyer Lemons"...did you know they are a cross between a lemon & a mandarin orange? Our stores have just started carrying them recently.
I found David Lebovitz's recipe for Israeli Couscous that included butternut squash, dried cherries &/or cranberries as well as Meyer lemons preserved in salt.
BINGO!I knew that was the recipe I would try, since I've never cooked couscous before & love to widen my culinary horizons.
Aren't the tri-colors in the teeny-tiny pasta pretty?
Here is the cast of players, sans the pine nuts that go on top, just prior to serving.
I found large packages of peeled & diced butternut squash at Sam's Club & divided it up into smaller servings & froze them in Ziplock Freezer bags. It sure makes it easier to enjoy regularly!
I used the meyer lemon in oil to saute the onions & regular olive oil over the butternut squash, which bakes in the oven. I used the citron lemon cypress flakes of sea salt over both. What a nice kicky zing it gives!
The cinnamon stick goes into the boiling water while the couscous cooks. Then the ground cinnamon is added over the top of the dish, at the end.
You KNOW I had to use my special favorite Vietnamese cinnamon...a gift from my sewing buddy, Carol (Mamacjt).
(thank you, Carol, for that gift & for introducing me to Penzy's spices) I'll have to tell you all about Penzy's some other time.
I was having none of that gritty Sam's Club cinnamon for this special dish!
David Lebovitz said he wouldn't change a single thing in this dish & I agree. It is both sweet & mildly tart at the same time...tart from the Meyer lemons then you get a sweetness from the butternut squash & the dried cherries.
The cinnamon comes through in each bite & I thought the little pearl shapes of the couscous were fun to eat! They kind of slide away from your teeth as you try to bite into them.
Just look at the riot of vibrant colors in this dish!
Orange butternut squash, YELLOW bits of lemon, GREEN parsley, dark, sweet tidbits of deep RED dried cherries & cranberries, BROWN flecks of cinnamon throughout & pale onion bits all mixed into the tri-colors of the pasta.
You can print the entire recipe HERE.
Thank you, again, Michael Lee & Bandwidth & Dr. Will, too!
I will happily link up with Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm for
Foodie Friday this week, along with The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sundays & later next week, I'll join Yvonne's StoneGable Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits.
Be sure to stop by next Wednesday to see my tablescape for Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish party, where I share some more "LEMON LOVE" in The Gazebo, outside.
Thanks for visiting & come back soon...we love company!