Make Ahead

Mint and Preserved Lemon Relish

July  2, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Makes about 3/4 cup
Author Notes

Is this actually a relish? I'm not completely sure, but whatever its true designation, this tangy chopped-herb condiment is good on just about everything. It can be endlessly adjusted to suit your particular taste, of course, but I will say that the preserved lemons are an essential ingredient, so whatever else you might want to swap out, I encourage you to keep those in.

I first made this to put in fresh spring rolls with carrots, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, romaine, and fresh parsley. It's a wonderful combination and I recommend it highly, but it's only one of the myriad possible uses. It's great on chickpeas and rice, excellent on tofu, lovely stirred into wilted bitter greens, etc., etc., and so forth.

I made my preserved lemons by following these instructions, but I'm sure you could find pre-made preserved lemons somewhere.

In terms of the chopping technique, it's sort of like this recipe http://www.101cookbooks..., except I don't have a mezzaluna or anything. I just use my chef's knife. —summersavory

Test Kitchen Notes

I found this recipe to be simple to prepare, yet very tasty and versatile. I like that the recipe suggests adding ingredients to taste, but others might prefer more specific quantities instructions. The relish is cool with a full bunch of fresh mint, yet warm with ginger. It's slightly sour with preserved lemon and vinegar, yet offset with sweet honey. This relish offers a contrasting balance of flavors with only 7 ingredients. I used it to perk up an otherwise mundane roasted beet salad and I plan to use the remaining portion stirred into a grain salad or piled atop grilled fish. Aside from being tasty and versatile, this recipe is a snap to pull together! Elegant enough to serve to guests, but easy enough to make on a weeknight. —Cbmcleod

What You'll Need
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (bunches vary in size, so use a good bit to start and adjust the amount as you see fit)
  • 1/2 of a medium shallot
  • 1/2 of a preserved lemon, peel only
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (I use about a half a cubic inch)
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup to make it vegan)
  1. Wash the mint, take the leaves off the stems, and chop the leaves coarsely to start. Mince the shallot as finely as you can, then chop it together with the mint. Rinse the preserved lemon peel in cold water, then mince and chop with the rest. Peel the ginger; mince and chop in.
  2. Put all the chopped ingredients in a small jar or other container; don't be afraid to pack it in a bit. Pour in a glug of olive oil and a glug of cider vinegar, and add the honey (the amounts are all approximate, really -- this is very much to taste and depends, in part, on how much mint you used). You want to have everything moist, but the body of this relish is really the chopped stuff and not the liquids, so it shouldn't be pourable. Mix it all together, cover, and refrigerate until you want to use it. It keeps at least a week in the fridge, although it's best in the first few days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sunnycovechef
  • AntoniaJames
  • Hilary G.
    Hilary G.
  • summersavory

4 Reviews

Sunnycovechef June 2, 2014
It looks good, I have to try this
Hilary G. July 28, 2013
This was yummy, and a wonderful use of preserved lemon. Great on hard boiled egg whites, toast, veggies...
AntoniaJames July 2, 2013
Very nicely done. Definitely on my must-try list. ;o)
summersavory July 5, 2013
thank you!