Preserved Lemons – You Really Must Make These! ???
Why are preserved lemons a must in your pantry? Not only are they easy but they are incredibly flavorful and transform any dish with a 1-2 flavor punch. What are preserved lemons you ask? They’re lemons that have been pickled in salt and their own juices and left to sit for a month before using. Preserved lemons add an intense lemon flavor without being bitter or overly tart. They are great for stews, meats, sauces, salads and more. Blend them up to make a marinade for meat or a lovely vinaigrette for your summer salad. The possibilities really are limitless and people will think you are chefy ??
- 3-4 Meyer lemons (or Eureka, Lisbon, etc, organic essential since you do east the rind) per pint-sized jar
- 5-6 teaspoons salt (sea salt or kosher recommended)
- An extra lemon for juicing
- Water that has been boiled and cooled (sterile)
You can make however many preserved lemons you like, but roughly 3-4 fit per pint-sized jar.Thoroughly clean the lemons. Organic is recommended. If you can’t find organic, let the lemons sit in some vinegar water for a few minutes, then rinse.
Trim the nubs off both ends of each lemon. Quarter each lemon, slicing them down just over ¾ of the way to leave the slices attached at the end. Put one teaspoon of salt into the cavity of each lemon.
Place one teaspoon salt into the bottom of the jar. Put a lemon in the jar, cut-side down, pressing firmly to squish out the lemon juice. Put a teaspoon of salt on top of the lemon. Firmly press the second lemon down on top of the first lemon. Repeat with the third lemon, pressing down firmly. Add a teaspoon of salt on top of the lemon. Repeat with another lemon if there is room.
The jar should be halfway full with lemon juice. If needed, squeeze some additional lemon juice into the jar to bring it to the halfway point. Don’t waste that lemon; slice it and stuff the slices into the jar. Pour the boiled/cooled water into the jar to fill it to the top.
Screw the lid on and let it sit at room temperature for 3 days, shaking it and rotating the jar upside-down/right-side up a few times per day. After 3 days transfer the jars to the refrigerator and let them sit for at least 3 weeks before using. Store in the fridge, will keep for at least 6 months.
Some people remove the pulp and wash the rind of the salt and use only the rind. I enjoy using the whole lemon (pulp, salt and all) in some dishes, it is up to you and what you wish to do with your preserved lemons. Enjoy!
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