PRESERVED LEMONS

 

you may remember from my last go round at pickling that i like to keep it simple when it comes to these sorts of adventures.  and i also die a small death at the thought of waiting weeks or months to enjoy the fruits of my labor (har har).  traditionally preserved lemons are made by quartering lemons, cramming as many of them as you can fit into a jar, filling up all the rest with kosher salt, seasonings and the juice from the lemons.  they’re amazing, but require THIRTY TO FORTY DAYS of relentless waiting.  to me this sounds about as satisfying as watching my fingernails grow.  i am so much more of an instant (or at least one week) gratification kind of gal. and so when i discovered mention of this shortcut route in my research i pretty much fell off my chair, picked myself up as quickly as i could and ran into the kitchen to start thinly slicing lemons and shoving them into a jar. {more after the jump}

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

7-9 small meyer lemons (regular lemons will also do but i prefer meyer when possible!)

roughly 1/4 cup of sea salt 

 

METHOD:

- thoroughly scrub, clean and dry lemons, preferably organic and the freshest you can find

- slice the lemons as thinly as you can manage, saving the ends to squeeze into the jar later.  remove any seeds that come along

- layer the sliced lemons in a wide mouth mason jar (1 pint), covering with sea salt as you go (from what i’ve read you should not use table salt as it’s too processed and filled with chemicals).  be generous with the salt, you’ll rinse it off when you’re ready to eat them! pack them in as tightly as possible.

- squeeze juice from lemon ends into the jar, filling up any extra air space with juice. (leave a little bit of breathing room at the top!)

- store lemons in a cool dark place for one week

- lemons are ready to eat when the peels are soft.  rinse off before using.

*this is definitely more time consuming than quartering the lemons, but totally worth it in my opinion to cut down on the time it will take to get to the eating part!!!

**i’m not sure exactly how long these will last for a family that doesn’t scarf them up quickly, but it should be at least 6 months (i read that they can last up to 2 years but i’d be a little weary, personally, of eating a 2 year old lemon)

*** these can be chopped and mixed in with pasta and grain dishes, added to salads, mixed in with vegetables, and used in sandwiches.  there are a million and one ways to incorporate these into your cooking!  i’ll post a couple of specific recipe ideas in the next week or two…