You’ve likely encountered the salty sour flavor of preserved lemons in Moroccan or Middle Eastern fare. The lemons, which have been pickled in salt and their own juices, are briny and delicious and make the perfect foil for any dish that needs a bit of brightness.

In this summer side, the smoky goodness of buttery grilled cauliflower is perfected with a dressing made from preserved lemons and capers. It makes the perfect side dish for hearty grilled meats like lamb, pork or steak. The dressing is also delicious served atop a filet of grilled fish.

Buttered Grilled Cauliflower

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Buttered Grilled Cauliflower


  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon*, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, broken into medium-large florets
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Preheat charcoal or gas grill.
  2. Prepare dressing by mixing together preserved lemons, capers and olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Toss cauliflower florets with melted butter until well coated.
  4. Preheat vegetable grilling basket until smoking, then add cauliflower. Grill, tossing occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and slightly charred. Toss immediately with dressing to allow hot cauliflower to soak in lemon flavor. Dish can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.
  5. *Preserved lemons are available in specialty and ethnic grocery stores, or online. Or you can make them yourself using the following recipe.
  6. Preserved Lemons
  7. Ingredients:
  8. 4 lemons
  9. 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  10. Juice of 4 additional lemons
  11. Directions:
  12. Scrub lemons thoroughly before cutting them into quarters. Place quarters, a few at a time into sterilized canning jar, sprinkling them with salt and pressing them down after each addition. Close jar.
  13. Leave jar at room temperature for 3-4 days, checking occasionally to ensure that lemons are still covered with lemon juice. If needed, open jar and press lemons down as much as you can, then add fresh lemon juice to cover them entirely.
  14. Close jar and leave in cool place for at least month. Before using, scoop out and discard the pulp, and rinse the lemon peel under the tap to get rid of the salt. Preserved lemons will keep in the refrigerator for up to a year.

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