Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preserved Lemons

If you are in any way fond of lemons, I would definitely recommend trying this recipe. I encountered preserved lemon for the first time in a vegetable tagine, and it was delicious! The lemon rind becomes very subtly flavored of lemon, and takes on a soft texture which makes the entire thing edible. It works very well in Moroccan dishes, but its uses are limitless- I am excited to try it in lemon chicken!

Measurements are not important when making preserved lemons. You will need a large clean jar with a lid, several lemons (with extras for juice) and lots of salt!

To begin, cut off the very ends of the lemon then incise a deep X. You want the cut to go nearly all the way though, but make sure that your lemon will still stay together.

Open the lemons and stuff the salt inside. It will seem like a lot of salt (and it is, I used roughly 1/2 cup for my jar) but it is necessary for the lemons to preserve properly.

After the lemons have been thoroughly salted inside, it is time for assembly! Start with a few tablespoons of salt in the bottom of the clean jar, then squish all of your lemons in on top of it. You want them to be as tightly fitting as possible, and the crushing helps to release juice from the lemons. Once the lemons and salt are in, add a couple more tablespoons of salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice until the jar is full. Replace the lid and leave the jar on the counter for a couple of days before moving it into the refrigerator for at least three weeks. Every day or so, tip the jar upside down so that the salt can redistribute. To use, remove a lemon and rinse it thoroughly to remove the excess salt. Typically the rind of the lemon is used, but you can also include the pulp depending on how intensely flavored you want your dish. Enjoy!