What are preserved lemons?
They are lemons that have been pickled in salt and their own juices and left to sit for a month before using.
What do they taste like?
Like lemons, but different. The process mellows out their bold, tart flavor and heightens their lemony essence. They are intensely “lemony” but not so tart.
How do I make them?
1. Put 1 tablespoon of kosher salt/sea salt/Himalayan salt at the bottom of your canning jar.
2. Rinse and scrub the lemons. With each lemon, trim off both ends. Cut the lemons lengthwise in half, but keep the lemon attached at the base, do not cut all the way through. Then make another cut the same way, as if you were cutting the lemons into quarters, but not all the way through.
3. Gently open the lemons and sprinkle well with salt, inside and out.
4. Put the cut and salted lemons in your canning jar and press them down so that their juices come out and rise to the top. Pack the jar with lemons, making sure that they are covered with juice. Add more juice if needed (you may need to make/buy lemon juice as a supplement), and add a couple more tablespoons of salt to the top.
5. Close the lid of the jar and let the jar of salted lemons sit at room temperature on the counter for ten days. Turn the jar upside down once per day. After ten days put the jar of lemons in the refrigerator for at least 3 weeks, until the rinds of the lemons soften. Turn the jar upside down occasionally while storing it in the refrigerator.
6. To use preserved lemons in cooking, remove one from the jar and rinse it to remove the salt. Discard any seeds. Remove the pulp. Thinly slice or chop the preserved lemon rind to use in a recipe.
To avoid corrasion from the lemon’s acidity, use a plastic lid or put a piece of parchment between metal lid and the jar
I cover the lemon’s completely with lemon juice, but you can also cover with cooled, boiled water
Don’t worry if a lacy white film appears on the jar or on the lemons–it’s harmless and can be rinsed
Try these recipes!
Preserved Lemon Allioli “Thinned with a touch more olive oil, preserved lemon and mint allioli this makes a fantastic and flavorful salad dressing. Alternatively, you can enjoy its fresh and bright flavors in a spread or as a dip. It is a perfect addition to the summer lunch table. I like this sauce served with fish and over grilled meats.”
Moroccan Cauliflower with Preserved Lemon “Turmeric gives this cauliflower the bright yellow color, while other Moroccan spices and preserved lemon add zesty flavor. Serve it as an easy side or vegetarian main dish.”
Moroccan Vegetable Pot and Couscous with Pine Nuts and Dill “This warmly-spiced vegetable stew, sweet with parsnips and carrots and tangy with preserved lemons and dried apricots is the perfect winter warmer dish and just right to break up the seasonal meat feast. And it smells so wonderfully festive as it cooks.”