Preserved Lemons: Your New Favorite Condiment
Preserved lemons are crazy good. They are fresh lemons that have been pickled in salt and their own juices. They add an intense, concentrated lemon flavor to any dish without all the sour tartness. They are commonly used in South Asian, North African and some Indian cuisines. I have discovered some unusual recipes you will want to try. Preserved Lemons are simple to make and can be a unique gift for any cook. Go ahead, give 'em a whirl.
8 organic lemons
1 heaping teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1. Wash and scrub the lemons. 3 to 5 lemons will become the preserved lemons, the others will be used for their juice.
2. I am using the classic Moroccan technique which is to cut each lemon in quarters but not all the way through, so that the pieces are still attached at the stem end. Put a tablespoon of salt in each lemon and squeeze it closed.
3. Cover the bottom of sterilized Ball Jar with more kosher salt (I use Morton's).
4. Put the salted lemons in the jar, pressing them down to release their juices. Fit all the cut lemons in, breaking them apart if necessary.
5. Add to the jar the peppercorns and bay leaves.
6. Squeeze the juice from the additional lemons into the jar until the cut and salted lemons are completely covered.
7. Close the jar and let ripen at cool room temperature, shaking the jar every day for 3 to 4 weeks, or until the rinds are tender to the bite. Then store the jar in the refrigerator.
Before using in a recipe, scoop out and discard the pulp, and rinse the lemon peel under the tap to get rid of the salt. (Add more fresh lemons to the brine as you use them up.)
Here are 3 great recipes that use preserved lemons: Chicken With Preserved Lemon And Green Olives, Root Vegetable Couscous With Preserved Lemon and Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette.
We'd love to hear about any recicipes you have that incorporate preserved lemons.
This Preserved Recipe adapted from NPR Preserved Lemons and NY Times Preserved Lemons