Tuesday, April 22

Preserved Lemons

A salty, tart condiment that adds fresh flavor to braises, pastas, vegetables, and more

Preserved Lemons

For someone who has an overly abundant lemon tree, it''s taken me way too long to make my own preserved lemons. Now that they're ready, I can't stop adding them to all of my dishes for a unique salty and tangy flavor that wakes up just about any meal. I've been hesitant about canning my own produce because it always seemed like a lot of work (not to mention all those intimidating warnings about sterilizing the jars beforehand) but making preserved lemons was so simple. I just ran the jar through a hot dishwasher, stuffed some quartered lemons with salt, and packed them as tightly as I could into the jar. The whole process took me about 10 minutes - the hard part was waiting for three weeks until they were preserved and ready to use. See my notes below for some ideas on how to prep and use the finished product and stay tuned for some great recipes utilizing them soon!

How To Prepare & Use Preserved Lemons:
- Remove any remaining seeds and rinse the lemon with water to remove any excess salt.
- Most of the flesh of the lemon dissolves during the preservation, but any remaining flash can be scraped off and minced before getting stirred into sauces or dips.
- Finely dice the lemon rind and sprinkle into rice or pasta dishes, on top of braised meats, or onto roasted vegetables.
- Try using a twist of preserved lemons instead of olives in martinis.

Preserved Lemons:
  • Sterilize a glass mason jar or canning jar.
  • Scrub 6-10 organic lemons* until very clean.
  • Cut the lemons into quarters without cutting through entirely so that each lemon is still intact.
  • Remove any visible seeds, then stuff the lemons with kosher salt.
  • Add a thin layer of kosher salt to the bottom of the jar, then add in the salted lemons, squishing them down to release some juice and pack them as tight as possible.
  • Fill the entire jar up with lemons, and add in more lemon juice if necessary to completely submerge the lemons.
  • Tightly screw on a lid and sit at room temperature for 2 days, turning upside down occasionally.
  • Transfer to a fridge and let them preserve for 2-3 weeks before using.
  • Lemons will keep in the fridge for several months.

Make as many as you like
*You will be eating the peel of the lemons, so you don't want any that have been treated with wax or pesticides.