Up until recently, I knew nothing about preserved lemons beyond seeing them listed as an ingredient in recipes and swiftly substituting for fresh lemons instead. But as my culinary adventures continued, I became more and more curious about them. What did they taste like? How were they actually used?
Preserved lemons are primarily used in Moroccan cuisine. They were initially made to preserve lemons so that they could be enjoyed year round. Now we are lucky enough to find our grocery stores stocked with fresh lemons all year long, so the necessity to preserve them has changed. But still, the unique flavor that preserved lemons adds to a variety of dishes can’t be replicated any other way.
The flavor is salty with a mellow, yet intensely lemon flavor. The peel, which is most commonly used in cooking, is soft to the touch with a satiny texture to taste.
How to use Preserved Lemons
To use your preserved lemons, simply remove one from the jar and rinse it thoroughly in water to remove any excess salt and seeds. Make sure to try a small bite so that you can get familiar with the overall flavor. I can’t wait to try making some of these dishes:
- 10-12 meyer lemons
- Sea salt
- The first step is to carefully scrub each lemon under running water. Then cut the stems and ends off each lemon.
- Cut the lemons into quarters, making your cuts from the top down to near the bottom, without cutting completely into pieces (more like scoring). You want to be able to open them up like a star.
- Pack the insides of the scored lemons with sea salt. Don’t worry about adding too much salt, as that is what will ‘preserve’ the lemons.
- Next pack your salt-filled lemons into clean, wide-mouth glass jars. Put each lemon, cut side down into the jar. Really squish them in there to release their juices. Once the jar is full, top off with more lemon juice if necessary to cover the fruit completely.
- Let sit at room temperature for three days, giving it a good shake each day. After that you can transfer your jar(s) to the refrigerator and let sit for at least another three weeks
Used In This Project:
- Circle Labels • I chose the “Chalkboard” style in sunburst.
- Circle Hang Tags • I chose the “Chalkboard” style in sunburst.
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