RECIPE: Preserved Lemons

RECIPE: Preserved Lemons
Up until recently, I knew nothing about preserved lemons beyond seeing it listed as an ingredient in recipes and swiftly substituting for fresh lemons instead. But, as my culinary adventures continued, I became more and more curious about them. What did they taste like? How were they actually used?

Preserved lemons are primarily used in Moroccan cuisine. They were initially made to preserve lemons so that they could be enjoyed year-round. Now we are lucky enough to find our grocery stores stocked with fresh lemons all year long, so the necessity to preserve them has changed. But still, the unique flavor that preserved lemons add to a variety of dishes can’t be replicated any other way.

RECIPE: Preserved Lemons

The Flavor
The flavor of a preserved lemon is salty, with a mellow, yet intensely lemon flavor. The peel, which is most commonly used in cooking, is soft to the touch with a satiny texture to taste.

How to use Preserved Lemons
To use your preserved lemons, simply remove one from the jar and rinse it thoroughly in water to remove any excess salt and seeds. Make sure to try a small bite so that you can get familiar with the overall flavor. I can’t wait to try making some of these dishes:

I also found this post by Eating From The Ground Up. Alana has some great suggestions on ways to used preserved lemons like in Caesar salad, pasta, and hummus!

RECIPE: Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 10-12 meyer lemons
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. The first step is to carefully scrub each lemon under running water. Then cut the stems and ends off each lemon.
  2. Cut the lemons into quarters, making your cuts from the top down to near the bottom, without cutting completely into pieces (more like scoring). You want to be able to open them up like a star.
  3. Pack the insides of the scored lemons with sea salt. Don’t worry about adding too much salt, as that is what will ‘preserve’ the lemons.
  4. Next pack your salt-filled lemons into clean, wide-mouth glass jars. Put each lemon, cut side down into the jar. Really squish them in there to release their juices. Once the jar is full, top off with more lemon juice if necessary to cover the fruit completely.
  5. Let sit at room temperature for three days, giving it a good shake each day. After that you can transfer your jar(s) to the refrigerator and let sit for at least another three weeks.

RECIPE: Preserved Lemons