If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, chances are you’ve noticed loads of gorgeous lemons on the shelves! As the winter weather lingers, brighten up your kitchen with salt preserved lemons.
This staple of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine – consisting of lemons cured in their own juice and salt – will pack a huge punch of intense, concentrated flavor to many dishes, from salads to tagines.This recipe features meyer lemons, which are sweeter than regular lemons and have a more intense flavor and aroma.
Try pairing salt preserved lemons with other Middle Eastern or Mediterranean-inspired flavors like our antipasto from Les Moulins Mahjoub or extra virgin olive oil in our pantry!
Begin by sterilizing your jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Set them out to dry. Meanwhile, scrub lemons well under running water and pat them dry as well. Be sure to use organic lemons – you’ll be eating the peel, and certainly won’t want the residue of pesticides, fungicides and waxes lingering as it would with conventionally grown lemons! If you absolutely can’t find organic lemons, make sure you rinse your lemons extra well with warm water.
While many recipes will tell you to cut the lemons into flower shapes (quartered, leaving the bottom sealed), cutting them fully into quarters will make them easier to use down the line when you’re ready to add them to a dish. Trim the ends off of each lemon as well.
After cutting 8 of the lemons into quarters, place the pieces in a large bowl and toss with salt until they’re completely covered (about 2 tsp per lemon). Then, pack the lemon wedges into your sterilized jars (about 4 lemons can go in each jar), and let sit for an hour. The salt will begin to draw out some of the juice from the lemons.
After an hour, press the lemons down further into the jar to release more juice. Squeeze the remaining lemons into a bowl and pour their juice into the jars. Each jar should be filled to the top!
Seal the jars and keep at room temperature for several days up to one week. Be sure to turn the jar over and give it a shake once a day. After about a week, transfer jars to the fridge to cure for another two weeks. At this point, they will be ready to use! They will keep in the fridge for months. Better yet, flavor will improve with aging.
When ready to use, discard the pulp and rinse the peel to remove excess salt. Et voilà!