Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Preserved Lemons

I found this in a Mediterranean Cookbook that I have, and the first time I made it, I wasn't sure it would taste very good. I was expecting something super sour. Until, after a few weeks, I tried it. It was amazing! And had such an unusual taste. The weird thing is, you eat the rinds of the lemons. Moroccan dishes sometimes call for these, but once you've had them in a dish, I'm sure you'll find other recipes to include them in. They're really good as a compliment to Bloody Mary or Caesars.

Preserved Lemons
  • A Canning or Preserving jar with a tight lid (big or small- your choice, you can even use an old pickle jar)
  • Fresh Whole (Preferably Organic) Lemons. There isn't a hard fast number for them, because the number depends on how big your jar is. But I would get more than you think you need- you have to have enough for juice too.
  • 1 or 2 cups of Pickling, Kosher, or Sea Salt. 
Clean the lemons well. Fill your jar with boiling water, and let sit.Put the lid into a bowl, and put hot water over that as well. While that's sitting, cut up the lemons long-wise into quarters. Dump out the hot water from the Jar, and put salt into the bottom. Start packing in the lemons, adding plenty of salt as you go. Don't be afraid to squish them- that helps get the juice. When you can't put any more lemons into the jar, add a couple of tablespoons of salt. Squeeze some of the lemons that are left, and add the juice to the jar, until it is full to the top. Put on the lid. Put the jar aside (no refrigeration required while its pickling). Every couple of days, turn the jar upside down and leave it for a couple of days to distribute the salt juice. After about 3 weeks of pickling, you can try them. You can eat the whole Lemon (seeds excluded). The lemons will last for several months at least. This batch I'm also going to try to make lemon salt; let the left over salt sit in the sun to dry. This is the basic recipe; you can also add different spices to the lemons for the next batch.