26 Apr Preserved Lemons
I’m unapologetic when it comes to my love for preserved lemons. Salty, umami… even funky. It goes without saying, preserved lemons are full of intense flavour, and they add a punch of citrus flavour that ‘ordinary’ lemons just don’t seem able to match.
Perfect for Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes, and adding an extra element to tagines and stews, preserved lemons should be considered essential to any pantry. And the best part is, they are literally the easiest thing in the world to prepare (except for the element of patience, that is). Just two essential ingredients and your choice of spices… preserved lemons are fragrant, and absolutely well worth the wait.
To use your preserved lemons, simply pull out the amount you need, cut away the pith and flesh from the rind, then use as you normally would in your dishes; diced, quartered, halved or julienned. If you find the lemon a little too salty, soak in work water for about 10 minutes before use, and this should take some of the edge off.
Enjoy with gusto,
8 lemons, cut into wedges
1 cup table salt
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Place lemon wedges into a bow with the salt. Rub the salt into the lemon, giving the wedges a good squeeze as you go. Retain the flesh and the juice in the bowl with the rind and salt.
Next, stuff the lemons into a jar with the skins facing outward. Arrange the peppercorns, bay leaves and mustard seeds as you go, nestling the amongst the lemons, as evenly throughout as you can. Ensure you pack all the contents in tightly.
Pour in the salt and lemon juice, ensuring the lemons are well covered. Put a lid on the jar and leave at room temperature for 2 days, before turning the jar to disperse the salt and juice throughout. Leave out at room temperature for a further 3 days. Finally, place the jar in the fridge and allow to cure for at least 2 weeks before use.
Create your own flavour infusions with your preserved lemons by adding chilli, or mixing up the herbs and spices to your liking.