Monday, July 27, 2009

preserved lemons

A while back I posted a cous cous salad that calls for preserved lemons. Preserved lemons are a staple of moroccan and middle eastern cuisine and frequently found in meat dishes. They are available in many arab markets in the US, however, if you don't have an arab market nearby they are also very easy to make. The one caveat is they must rest for a month before eating.
Preserved lemons:
large jar
salt (copious amounts)
lemon juice and/or boiling water

1. Quarter lemons into nearly 4 pieces (keep attached at one end).
2. Stuff with salt.
3. Stuff lemons into jar. Close jar.
4. Let jar rest on counter. Once a day shake jar a bit. After a week cover lemons with lemon juice and/or boiling water.
5. Seal jar and place in refrigerator. After one month lemons are ready for use.
6. When using preserved lemons, fish out of jar and rinse well. Remove pulp and discard (if desired). Use peel as recipe calls - usually sliced or diced.

Lemons will keep for several months (a year??) in the fridge. I use them primarily in the summer and make a few at a time. I've read that you can keep adding lemons to the brine and reuse the brine, although I've never done this.

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