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Ali's Lemons

Buon Appetito!

Ali's philosophy is that great food is made with quality, fresh ingredients and love


Enjoy, I know I have!


Preserved Lemon and Olive Couscous

Preserved Lemon, Olive, and Fresh Herb Couscous


2 cups Chicken Bone Broth (available from Alex of The Little Bone Broth Company, just behind Ali's stall, at the Christchurch Farmers' Market)
1 tbspn sea salt
2 cups cous cous
60g Ali’s Preserved Lemons, finely chopped
120g Kalamata Olives, pitted & chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/3 cup thyme, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil - (available from Chris of Robinson's Bay at the Christchurch Farmers' Market)
4 tbspn lemon juice
Black pepper to taste


Place bone broth in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, add salt, remove from heat and allow to cool for 2 minutes.
Pour in couscous, stir well, cover, and allow to stand while the couscous absorbs the broth - about 10 minutes.
Stir with a fork then spread couscous on a large tray and allow to cool, breaking up any large lumps with the fork.
Meanwhile place Preserved Lemons, Kalamata Olives, parsley & thyme into a large salad bowl.
When couscous is just warm, add to the bowl and gently toss.
Dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil & lemon juice.
Mix well so the dressing coats the salad.
Season to taste.
Serve at room temperature..

Mulled Wine

Italian Mulled Wine

Winter solstice means time for roaring fires, comfort food and great company. What better accompaniment than a warming spicy Italian inspired mulled wine.


1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup Ali's Limoncello
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 vanilla beans
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange 


Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer stirring gently until the sugar dissolves.
Keep at a gentle heat 15- 20 minutes. or until ready to serve.

Buon appetito!!
(With thanks to Toast by Liquorland.)
Ali's Limoncello available at the Christchurch Farmers' Market, Riccarton Bush.

Limoncello & Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Limoncello & Lemon Curd Cheesecake

To continue the theme of recipes using Limoncello, here is a cheesecake that you will love!


1 packet plain biscuits, e.g. Krispies
2 tbsp ground almonds
50gms butter
200 gms cream cheese
200 gms ricotta
200 mls cream
3 large eggs
1/4 cup Ali's Limoncello
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Ali's Lemon Curd 


Remove the base of a 23 cm springform tin and cover the base with two layers of tinfoil which are larger than the base, reassemble and turn the tin foil up the sides - this helps make the tin more water tight.

Preheat the over to 170 deg C.

Combine the cream cheese, ricotta, cream, eggs, zest and Ali's Limoncello until it is smooth.

Pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for 40 mins.

Reduce the heat to 120 deg C (open the oven door to help cool the oven more quickly).
Meanwhile, remove the cake and drizzle Ali's Lemon Curd over the surface of the cake.
Return to the oven and cook 20 - 30 minutes more, until it is cooked through but still "wobbles" temptingly.

Leave to cool several hours, preferably overnight.

Serve with fresh fruit and a shot of Ali's Limoncello.

Buon appetito!!

Lemon Curd Brandy Baskets

Lemon Curd Brandy Baskets

Summer calls for light and easy dessert treats utilising the fruits of the season, so try this:


Fresh fruit, e.g. oranges, raspberries, cherries, nectarines
Ali's Limoncello - White or Black label depending on your preference
Purchased brandy baskets
Ali's Lemon Curd
Whipped cream 


Prepare the fruit ahead: segment the oranges trimming away all the membrane and pith; halve and stone cherries; cut nectarines into bite sized pieces.
Combine in a bowl and pour over a generous slosh of Ali's Limoncello. (More is definitely better in this case!)

Whip the cream with a couple of tablespoons of Ali's Limoncello.

When ready to serve, spoon Ali's Lemon Curd into the basket, top with a spoon of whipped cream.
Then arrange the fruit on top.
Spoon over the Limoncello in which the fruit has macerated.

Garnish with curls of lemon zest and a mint leaf.

Hey presto - quick, easy and delicious!!

Buon appetito!!

Lemon Tart

Lemon, Yoghurt, and Honey Tart

A Lemon, Yoghurt and Honey Tart with Ali's Lemons Curd


800gms reduced fat Greek-style yoghurt
1 1/2 sheets reduced-fat shortcrust pastry, just thawed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
2 tspns lemon zest
3 tbsps Ali's Lemon Curd
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar


1. Spoon yoghurt into a fine sieve and place over a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight to make labne. Discard strained liquid.

2. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a 2.5cm-deep, rectangular loose-based tart tin with pastry sheets, trimming to fit. Put tin in freezer for 20 minutes, or until pastry is frozen.

3. Place tart tin on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, or until pastry is light golden. Transfer tin to a wire rack, leaving pastry to cool completely.

4. Place labne in a large bowl; whisk in eggs, honey and lemon zest until combined. Spoon mixture into cool pastry case and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until filling is just set and light golden. Leave tart to cool, then refrigerate until chilled.

5. Simmer the sugar and water in a saucepan with the lemon slices until the liquid is turned to syrup and the lemon has caramelised. Leave to cool.

6. Drizzle Ali's Lemon Curd over the cooled tart and arrange lemon slices on top of tart, slice evenly and serve.

Serve with Ali's Creamy Lemon Ice Cream and a shot of Limoncello.
Buon appetito!

Lemon Posset

Lemon Posset

Here is a recipe to put a little sunshine into your heart and lift the wintry blues!

Lemon Posset with Lemon Curd Loaded Shortbread 


600mls cream
150gms caster sugar
2 large lemons - zest and juice. 

Loaded Shortbread:
90 gms icing sugar
185 gms plain flour
60gms cornflour
30 gms ground almonds
250gms butter
2 drops almond essence
75 gms Ali's Lemon Curd
Icing sugar 


Place the cream and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat.
Bring to the boil slowly.
Boil 3 minutes - be precise! - then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Add the juice and zest and whisk well.
Pour into 6 serving dishes and refrigerate for 3 hours. 

Loaded Shortbread: 
Preheat the oven to 180deg C
Sift the dry ingredients together and add the almonds.
Tip into the food processor and dd the butter.
Pulse until well mixed
Add the essence
Turn out and form into a smooth dough.
Grease a muffin tray.
Divide the dough into 12 and roll into small balls
Place the balls in the muffin cups.
Flatten the tops with your finger tips.
Bake 8 - 12 minutes until light golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Then, using your thumb, make a small indentation in the top of each biscuit.
Leave them to cool. And then remove carefully from the muffin tray.

When ready to serve, lightly dust the shortbread with iciing sugar and fill the indentations with Ali's Lemon Curd.
Place the lemon possets on serving plates beside the shortbread.
Simple but impressive!
Serve with a shot of Ali's Limoncello Riserva
Buon appetito! 

Ice Cream

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream

The sun is out - must be time for ice cream - and this is so easy and delicious!

If you can't make it to Dunedin for the big match, prepare some treats to enjoy in front of the TV! Try this:


300 mls cream
1 lemon - zest and juice
Ali's Reduced Sugar Lemon Curd (available at Christchurch Farmers' Market)
50 gms meringue pieces
2 tbsp lemon balm (if available)
3 passionfruit or equivalent from a jar
Sprigs of lemon balm or mint, to garnish


Line a loaf tin with clingfilm, overlapping the sides
Whisk cream lightly
Add lemon zest and juice
Add 4 tbsps Ali's Reduced Sugar Lemon Curd
Fold in the meringue and chopped balm
(If balm is not available add the zest of another lemon)
Spoon into the loaf tin and cover with clingfilm
Freeze at least 6 hours.

Remove from the freezer 10 - 15 minutes before serving.
While waiting, mix the passionfruit through more lemon curd.
Use a hot knife to cut ice cream into thick slices.

Plate up with a slice of ice cream and a dollop of the passionfruit curd.
Garnish with sprigs of lemon balm or mint.

Buon appetito! 

Strawberry Lemon Puff

Strawberry Lemon Puff

To my great joy, I spied strawberries in the supermarket!!! So, for a little taste of summer on these chilly mid-winter days, try this:


Choux Pastry
1/2 cup water
60gms butter
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 cups cream
1 Cup Ali's Lemon Curd
Sliced strawberries 


Preheat the oven to 200 C fanbake
On baking paper make 2 circles - one 22 cms with one 18 cm inside - draw around plates.
Place paper on baking tray.

Place water and butter in medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
When butter is melted add all the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan - about 1 minute.

Tip batter into a cake mixer and add sugar and vanilla.
Beat 20 seconds.
Beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is thick and drops from the spoon in clumps.

Spread the batter on the baking paper inside the doughnut shape you have drawn.
Run a fork through it and sprinkle with almonds.

Bake 200 deg for 12 minutes
Reduce the heat to 180 deg and cook another 15 - 20 minutes until golden and feels firm when tapped.
Turn off the oven, but leave puff inside oven for 15 minutes.
Then transfer to a rack and leave to cool a little.

Split horizontally with a serrated knife and leave to cool completely.

Whip the cream, fold in Ali's Lemon Curd and spread over the base of the cooled ring.
Scatter the sliced strawberries over the lemon cream.
Replace the top and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Serve in wedges.

Enjoy with a glass of Ali's ice cold Limoncello.

Buon appetito!

With thanks to Annabel Langbein.


Chicken, Preserved Lemon and Pea Tagliatelle

Who doesn't love peas? Served with pasta and lemon, we are surely back in Italy!
To continue the series on preserved lemons,  here's a recipe you can even make with the kids - simple, delicious and oh so Italian.  - Serves 4


1/2 barbecued chicken
500g tagliatelle or fettucine
2/3 cup frozen peas
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons Ali's Preserved Lemon, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Chives, to serve
Grated parmesan, to serve


Shred chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones.

Cook pasta in a pan of boiling salted water, adding the peas for the final 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, oil and garlic together with salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to toss the pasta.

Drain the pasta and peas and add to the bowl, tossing until well combined.

Stir in chicken, preserved lemon and pine nuts.

Top with chopped chives and parmesan.

Serve with a glass of chardonnay for the adults, and Ali's Lemon Fresh with soda for the children - and those doing Dry July!

Buon Appetito!

Roast Pork

Roast Pork and Lemon

While the temperatures continue to be bone chilling try this pork recipe.


Pork roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh rosemary
1 Cup white wine
3/4 cup Ali's Lemon GInger Marmalade


Preheat the oven to 180 deg Celsius.
Sprinkle the pork with salt, pepper and rosemary.
Pour the wine into the roasting pan.
Cook 50 minutes basting regularly.

Mix some pan juices with Ali's Lemon Ginger Marmalade and pour over the meat.
Cook another 30 - 40 minutes. Basting frequently.

Slice the pork and pour pan juices over.

If desired add favourite winter vegetables like potato, kumara, pumpkin, parsnip and leeks to the roasting pan.

Goat's Cheese Pasta

Goats' cheese pasta with lemon caramelised onion and roasted pumpkin.

This latest series of recipes is, as the Master Chef presenters would say, 'hero-ing' two products - and this week it is caramelised onions! They add depth of flavour while the addition of lemon brightens the palate.
Pumpkin just says winter comfort and, with the tang of feta and the onion jam, this dish is a winner!

So grab a jar of Ali's Lemon Caramelised Onion and give this recipe a try.


1 cup pumpkin, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt
500 gms pasta - your choice
250gms goat cheese, crumbled
5 tbsps butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 jar Ali's Lemon Caramelized Onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
Caramelised walnuts (optional) 


Preheat oven to 200° C.

Place pumpkin in roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt (a good pinch or two).
Toss and ensure the pumpkin is just one layer.
Bake until tender and browned, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cook pasta until al dente.
Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, crumble the goat cheese in the bottom of large bowl and set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat, stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the white wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat, and add the basil and thyme.

Add pasta to the goat cheese, toss until it evenly coats the pasta (pour a little of the reserved water on top if you need to loosen the cheese).

Pour the butter-herb mixture on top, and toss until combined.
Add pumpkin and Ali's Lemons Caramelised Onion, and toss gently until combined.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with toasted walnuts, if desired.

Lemon Caramalised Onion

Pasta Salad with Caramalised Onions

A healthy, balanced lunch that tempts, satisfies and is quick and easy to prepare is essential for school and work lunches. 


Pasta of your choice - eg penne, farfalle
Ali's Lemon Caramelised Onion
Feta cheese, crumbled
Celery, sliced
Caramelised walnut pieces
Baby spinach leaves
Apple - sliced into thin wedges


Cook the pasta according to the packet directions.
Add caramelised onion, feta, celery and walnuts.
Sprinkle spinach and apple over the top.
Dress with good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Buon appetito!

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