Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preserved Lemons, Moroccan Style

Preserved lemons are high on my new favorite ingredients list and while I have posted a link to making them, they are so photo worthy that I decided to devote an entire post to them.

Because you really need to use thin skinned lemons to make them, which in the U.S. translates into using meyer lemons, I wanted to post this before the season for meyers ended. Also, because you're eating the skin it is best to buy organic so that you're not preserving pesticides along with your lemons!

I'm still making a few batches to ensure I have some for the remainder of the year and this picture is my second batch in a pint jar. As you can see from the photo, you essentially cut a lemon in quarters, but not all the way through and then stuff it with good salt (kosher, coarse sea salt) and allow the salt to bring out the juice which pickles or "preserves" the rind.

If you are looking for some diversity in preserving your lemons, check out Hunter Angler, Gardener Cook's recent post on preserving lemons from cuisines around the world and experiment!

Preserved Lemons, Moroccan Style

8-10 organic meyer lemons, washed and dried
salt (kosher, coarse sea salt, your choice)

Cut lemon in quarters but not all the way through to create a tulip like opening. Cram as much salt into the open lemon as you can over a bowl to catch excess salt. Press filled lemon into bottom of jar and repeat with remaining lemons. It is best to fill to top as lemons will reduce as they preserve. Allow to sit out for a couple of days, pressing lemons below lemon juice to ensure preservation. After 1 week, pour olive oil over top to cover. Refrigerate and it will keep indefinitely. Lemons will continue to preserve, meaning that they will be very soft if you have them after a year. To use scrape pulp off of rind and mince.


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