Originally lemons were preserved to store past their season. Now, however they are used in a wide variety of dishes to for a salt-sweet hit. They are as a key ingredient in Moroccan Tagines, and a great addition to almost any salad or vegetable dish. Preserving lemons is so simple, there is no reason why every kitchen should have a jar of these sitting ready to be used.
All you need is Lemons, Sea Salt and time. You can add sugar, spices and herbs to the mix to for an extra level of flavour, cinnamon sticks, juniper berries, and star anise work great! When using preserved lemons, remember to wash each lemon to remove the brine and scoop out the pulp within. The rind is flavour gold here, finely chop it and add them to almost anything!
· 6 unwaxed Lemons (If using waxed, ensure they are thoroughly scrubbed)
· 150-200 g Achill Island Sea Salt
· Fresh Lemon Juice, as needed
· A large sterile glass jar
Preserved Lemons Method:
- Cut the tips of one end of the lemon and slice them quarter lengthwise, ¾ down so that they are still attached at the other end
- Pack the lemons with as much sea salt as can fit
- If adding herbs and spices, they can be pressed into the lemons along with the salt.
- Pack the lemons in the sterilised glass jar, pressing them in as tightly as possible.
- As the lemons are packed in, the juice will begin to squeeze out. Fresh lemon juice can be added if needed to fully cover the lemons.
- Seal the jar and store in a cool dark pace for 3-4 weeks and let the salt work it’s magic!
- Shaking the jar everyday will ensure that the salt is evenly distributed.
- Once opened, store the jar in the fridge, ensuring that the lemons are covered with juice at all times