© Quentin Bacon
Rice Salad with Merguez and Preserved Lemon Dressing
- TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
This boldly flavored dish is enticing, especially to those with a taste for heat.
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 preserved lemon, rind only, minced (see Note)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and finely diced
- 1/3 cup pitted Picholine olives, chopped (2 ounces)
- 1 pound merguez sausage, cut into 3/4 inch-thick slices
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with the water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a medium bowl.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk all but 1 teaspoon of the olive oil with the lemon juice, preserved lemon, garlic, harissa and cumin. Pour the dressing over the rice and toss well. Add the fennel and olives and season lightly with salt.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the merguez sausage and cook over moderately high heat, stirring once or twice, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the salad. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley and serve.
Make Ahead The rice salad can be prepared several hours ahead and served at room temperature. Notes Preserved lemons are a common Moroccan ingredient made from lemons that have been preserved in lemon juice and salt for several days, until very soft. Look for them at specialty food shops.
The lush fruit of a Mediterranean red wine, such as a Cabernet-Syrah from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, will match well with this spicy salad.