Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

I love Moroccan food and a few years ago went to a cooking class presented by a woman who lived most of her life in Morocco.  She showed us how to make preserved lemons and it couldn’t be more simple.  Sterilize a mason jar large enough to hold 4 or 6 Meyer lemons or Eureka lemons and pour 1 inch of salt on the bottom.  Take a lemon and cut a little off the bottom and stem.   Set the lemon on one end and make a vertical cut 3/4 down through the lemon but do not cut in half.  Turn the lemon upside down and make a second vertical cut at a 90-degree angle to the first about 3/4 of the way through the lemon.  Pour kosher salt in all the slits, press together and place lemons in mason jar.  Completely cover lemons with fresh squeezed lemon juice (you need quite a few lemons to do this!) and put lid on and place in a pantry or cool dark place for a month.  Give them a shake every now and then and check to see that the lemons remain covered with lemon juice, or add fresh lemon juice if needed.  They will take about a month until the skin is nice and soft.  Preserved lemon rinds make a wonderful garnish or addition to couscous, Moroccan tagine or stew.  They are also good as gremolata mixture with finely chopped lemon rind, parsley, tarragon, toasted pine nuts and a little garlic sprinkled over sautéed scallops or fish. They become sweet and soft, but still have a nice lemon taste.  After the rind has turned soft, store them in the refrigerator.  They keep for about 6 months fully covered with lemon juice.

 

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