Making Preserved Lemons
If you have a bounty of fresh lemons, preserve them in salt to savor their deliciousness at any time of the year. This is a guide about making preserved lemons
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My mother has always cooked fantastic authentic Moroccan dishes all my life. As I learned how to cook, I realized there was one ingredient in these dishes that truly stood out: preserved lemons. It's got an unusual lemony taste that can't be substituted. The flavours really strike all your senses. We use it to cook with our meats, as a depth to our salad dressings, or just put a bit on the sides of our dishes as a type of chutney. A good jar of preserved lemons could cost you $15 to $30 at the shops. Skip it and make your own.
- 5 lemons, thoroughly washed
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 6 cloves
- 6 cardamon pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 medium dried red chilies
- 3 medium bay leaves
- water, boiled then cooled
- Slice off the tops of each lemon.
- Slice lemon into 6 wedges each, but don't cut all the way through. Leave about 1/2 an inch at the bottom intact to hold them together.
- Sprinkle one tablespoon of salt into the middle of each lemon.
- Place peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, chilies, bay leaves and lemons into a sterilized jar. Add remaining salt and press all the contents down with a wooden spoon.
- Pour enough of the boiled and cooled water into the jar to cover the contents.
- Seal the jar and keep it in a cool, dark place for about 6 weeks. No need to refrigerate.
This is a simple way to make preserved lemons. A little drizzle of this stuff goes a long way when making salads, using as a topping, or in your marinades. It's great because it doesn't have just a lemon flavour, it's also got the taste of the dissolved lemon rind, which is amazing. There's nothing quite like it.
Below is a link to my Moroccan Preserved Lemons recipe, which takes a few more ingredients, but is a deliciously fun twist on this recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 weeks preserving time minimum
Link: Moroccan Preserved Lemons
- 5 lemons, washed and chopped
- 1/3 cup salt
- Place some salt in the bottom of a clean jar, then add lemons pieces. Keep layering them (salt, lemon, salt, lemon) until you reach the top of the jar.
- When your jar is full, cover the top with more salt.
- Screw the jar's lid on tight. If you have a metal jar, place a piece of plastic wrap between the jar's lip and the lid. Store the jar in a dark place at room temperature for at least 2 weeks. The longer you store the lemons, the more the rind will dissolve, resulting in a more delicious preserve.