Have you ever noticed preserved lemons as an ingredient in various recipes? Surely, you would have. It is also quite possible that you have noticed them on shelves in the supermarket. But do you really know what preserved lemons are? Preserved lemons are the ones that have been soaked in their own juices along with salt and oil. This allows lemons to lose their bitter taste and eventually become much sweeter. This form of lemon is extensively used in the preparation of Moroccan food.
Though it may take up to three weeks before you can actually consume preserved lemons, it is quite easy to prepare preserved lemon recipes such as this one at home.
Lemons – 10-12 (it is preferable to use Meyer lemons as they are already sweet to taste)
Lemons to extract juice – 6
Kosher coarse salt
Big mason jar
Directions: Wash 12 Meyer lemons thoroughly and dry them with a paper towel. Quarter them all but make sure that they still remain intact with the stem. In other words, cut only the upper portions, while the last half inch joins the quartered leaves with the bottom of the lemons, which remain uncut.
Next, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the coarse kosher salt into each of the 12 lemons. Now, squeeze out the juice of the 6 remaining lemons. Place around 3 tablespoons of the kosher salt at the mason jar’s bottom. Put a layer of salted lemons over it and sprinkle them with salt again. Repeat this with another layer of lemons and kosher salt and repeat this procedure until three fourths of the jar is full.
Now, fill the jar with lemon juice and leave some space for the juice that will come from salted lemons placed inside. Seal the jar and keep it at room temperature. Place it upside down after every 4-5 days. Let the lemons stay in jar for around a month prior to using it. As the rind becomes soft, you will know that the lemons can now be served. Do not forget to rinse them before you start using them. Usually, it is rind that is used while cooking, though the flesh may also be used.
Preserved lemon is an essential ingredient in Moroccan cooking. Vegetable tagines, fragrant lamb, salads, and recipes for chicken often have preserved lemons as the main ingredient. The exclusive pickled taste of these lemons cannot be effectively replaced with lime juice or fresh lemon. So, do not wait anymore and try out this new preserved lemon recipe today and add great flavor to your dishes.