Preserve Lemons couldn’t be easier to make; salt and patience’s. With so many uses you’ll want to keep a or two jar in your refrigerator at all times. Lemons preserved in brine mellow out the sharp citrus flavor bringing out the lemon umani. Umani is the Japanese word for the fifth savory taste along with sweet, sour, bitter and salt.
Preserve Lemon are an essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern, Asian and North African recipes. I made these for a Moroccan Chicken Tajine recipe I wanted to try out. Since then I have added lemon juice to a tuna salad, added peels to cooked couscous and salads.
There are recipes on the internet adding peppercorns, bay leaves and other herbs to the brine. I go for the simple salt and lemon recipe because I might use the lemons in a sweet recipe. I might make 2 jars so, I can play with the flavors for sweet and savory recipes.
Preserved Lemons Recipe
Makes one 16 oz canning jar
Lemons – 8 Organic Meyers lemons – quarter 6 and juice 2
Salt – 3/4 cup - Use a good salt like Sea, Kosher or Himalayan Pink salt
Wash the lemons and rinse well. I cut the lemons into lengthwise wedges. Toss the lemons in salt gentle working the salt into the pulp. Pack the lemon wedges in a glass jar add salt as you go. Gently shake the jar to disperse the salt and juice. Place the jar in a cool corner of your kitchen. After a day or two, top off the jar with lemon juice as needed to cover the quartered lemons. Gently shake every day for a week or two until the rinds are soft, 3 weeks to a month. Refrigerate for up to a year. Rinse and pat dry before using.
How to use Preserved Lemons
Use the rind and pulp in every place you would use fresh lemons. Including a Bloody Mary.
Add a squeeze of juice into tuna salad, salad dressings, over salmon or crab and vegetables.
Mince the peel into a risotto, rice or couscous.
Use the juice and rind in your baking like, Lemon Zucchini Bread and Lemon Sugar Cookies.
Preserved lemons make a beautiful gift. This recipe is easy to split into 2-8 oz jars. (3 lemons and ½ cup salt)
Traditionally the lemons are cut into quarters, but not all the way through. In my research for recipes I didn’t see any advantage to keeping the lemons. By quartering the lemons, you can get more into a jar.