This was inspired by some preserved lemons I'd forgotten about in my refrigerator. I thought that I should do something north african with them and then realized the butcher down the street has some fantastic looking merguez. I asked here for some ideas and this is what I came up with. It is really very good, a mix of salt, sweet, sour and spice. Served as a dipping sauce for the merguez as an appetizer. I thought of adding a touch of cayenne but figured (correctly) that the sausage would have enough. Preserved lemon is a flavor and texture unlike any other. It was unique without being bizarre and quite delicious. The merguez was pre cooked (poked some holes in them and boiled for 5 minutes the night before) then browned and sliced diagonally into coins for serving.
1 cup diced preserved lemon
boiling water to cover
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp anise seeds
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Soak the diced preserved lemon in boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes to remove some of the salt. Drain well and add to a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer until it thickens. I made mine the day before serving and I think it benefitted from the 24 hours in the fridge. I warmed it gently before serving.
I can see this sauce with pork, or lamb chops too.
I decided to go with a fruity compote thing rather than the olive oil. And the apricot somehow enhanced the the unique fairly dramatic preserved lemon flavor. Also, I think that soaking the lemons is necessary to eliminate about 75% of the saltiness.
Thanks for your suggestions. I've been told that I definitely need to do this again!