The thing about making preserved lemons is that even though they are preserved, they still won’t last indefinitely in the fridge. So when you have a jar, you want to use them. This salad is a simple way to brighten up a pizza dinner and put your preserved lemons to good use—it’s both bitter, sour, sweet, and garlicky all at once, and while there aren’t many ingredients, there are a lot of textures and flavors bouncing off of each other. If you don’t like bitter greens like dandelion, you can certainly swap in something else (romaine would work well in terms of texture); and these croutons, which are one of my old standbys, will make any salad feel a bit heartier. I love the way the lemons seep into the croutons and soften them in spots, so you get both a bit of chew and a bit of crunch.

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Ingredients

  • ½ loaf rustic bread, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Leaves from a few sprigs fresh oregano or thyme, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch dandelion leaves, cut into ribbons
  • ¼ cup Preserved Lemons, plus some of the juices
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan, optional

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

On a baking sheet, toss the bread with the oil to barely coat the bread. Add the garlic and oregano or thyme, season with salt and pepper, and toss well to combine. Bake until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure the croutons brown on all sides. Remove from the oven.

In a large bowl (I have a big wooden one I like to use), combine the dandelion ribbons, lemons, and some of the juices from the lemons and drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat everything. Toss well. Add some or all of the croutons to the bowl, toss again, taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve topped with the Parmesan, if desired.

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