Sunday, August 2, 2015

Preserved Lemons

I love everything lemon. No lie.
Preserved lemons may sound a little weird to you if you haven't heard of them, or tasted them.
Honestly, this takes loving lemons to a whole new level.
The recipe below is from an old post in the Seattle PI paper.
Making these takes 30 days... sorry, no way to hurry the process along.
After "preserving" for that amount of time, the lemons are completely soft and easy to mince. You use the whole thing... peel, pith and juicy part.
Some suggestions for using them?  Mince them small and add them to pasta salads, risotto and braised meats. They are salty and tangy, so be sure to omit salt in any recipe you add them to, you can always add more if you need it. I've got some recipes to post on ways to use them coming up and will link them here.

Preserved Lemons:
7-8 lemons, unwaxed
1-2 cups kosher salt

Wash lemons well and dry them. Half the lemons will be juiced, so if any of yours have defects/marks, set those aside and use them for the juicing lemons.

Cut 4 lemons into quarters from the top, being careful not to cut all the way through.

I also picked out as many of the seeds as I could see and reach, as these lemons were especially "seedy".

I cut a bit off one of the "pokey" ends so that they sit flatter in the container. 

I didn't really "pack" each lemon with salt, just added about a heaping tablespoon.

You have to really wedge them into the container tightly.

Juice the rest of the lemons over the top of the "packed in" lemons.  You need to have enough juice to completely cover them.  Add a couple more tablespoons of salt.

Pack salt generously into the cuts and place lemon into a sterilized glass pint jar. Continue procedure, packing the lemons into the jar as tightly as possible. Squeeze juice from remaining lemons. Add another 2 tablespoons of salt to the jar and top off with the lemon juice, make sure the lemons are completely covered. Close the jar with a non-metallic lid and set aside in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator for one month. Preserved lemons will keep for 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.

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