Preserving lemons is very useful for this winter fruit because it makes them last throughout winter until the next crop arrives. Not only does preserving them mellow out their boldness and tartness, this also heightens their flavorful essence. As I said in the other lemon post, preserved lemons are great (and a staple) in Moroccan foods, North Africa meals and of course used easily here in the States on any baked or grilled fish recipe.
When using the preserved lemons you only use the rind. Some sites say you can use the meat too, but I would stick with the rind, as preserved lemons are powerful.
Here’s the easy how to: (but don’t get in a hurry as they have to sit for three weeks!)
- About 3 small to medium cleaned lemons
- 1 pint jar
- 1/4 c. Kosher salt, sea salt or canning salt.
- 2/3 c. juice from fresh lemons
Cut the lemons into quarters and place in a large enough bowl. Add the salt and toss with a spatula to cover the wedges with salt.
Place the lemon wedges in the pint jar, compacting as much as you can. When half full, sprinkle with some salt, then continue adding lemons wedges. Scrape the remaining salt from your bowl in to the jar when filled. Add the juice to cover the top of the lemons. Wipe the rim of you jar and seal the lid
Place in a cool dark place for three weeks, turning the jar upside down every 3-4 days for a few hours to distribute the juices.
The lemons are ready when the rind is soft and easily comes away from the flesh and pith.
To use, just pull a wedge out of the jar with tongs so as to not contaminate the others. Rinse the salt off quickly before use under cold running water. Use as much as the recipe calls for.