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Preserved Lemons

I’ve waited 3 weeks for this.

21 days ago, while I washed, split, and salted several locally grown limons, my husband looked on in wonder.

And today, on my birthday (hello 35!), we get to enjoy the (salted) fruits of my labor.

Preserved lemons are a treat, a welcome addition to many Moroccan dishes, but are of so versatile in many other ways that I can’t wait to test and share with you here. The sweet-tart tang of these whole fruit bits add a certain “je ne sais quoi” (or, en espanol, no se que) to recipes. A welcome addition to pasta, dips, cocktails and more, today I want to offer you my basic recipe, and in the weeks to come, I will offer you a few recipes to test your own home preserved wares with!

Preserved Lemons

Tools: sterilized glass jar with lid, knife, cutting board

  • 6-10 lemons (Meyer if you have them)

  • 1 C sea salt (you will use less or more, just have this much handy)

Drop 2 T of salt into your canning jar.

Wash your lemons and trim ends. Cut the lemons lengthwise in half, but keep the lemon attached at the base; be careful not to cut all the way through. Then make another perpendicularly, as if you were cutting the lemons into quarters, but not all the way through.

Gently pull open the lemons into a flower like shape, and sprinkle inside with salt

Drop lemon into jar and press down to release juices. Continue to pack the jar with lemons, pressing down to ensure they are covered with juice.

Once the jar is full, add more juice to cover if needed, and top with more salt.

Cap the lid to let it sit at room temperature on the counter for a 2-3 days, turn the jar upside down every so often.

After a few days, move the jar to the refrigerator and play the waiting game for at least 3 weeks, until lemons are soft and fragrant.

To use : Take a lemon, and scrape off excess salt, and discard any seeds. Remove the pulp and thinly slice the rind to use in a recipe.

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