All you need to make Moroccan-style Preserved Lemons is lemons, salt, and a little bit of time. Packed cozily into pretty jars, these Moroccan-inspired condiments make a budget-friendly gift for anyone who loves to tinker in the kitchen.
Lemons rubbed with Kosher salt are packed snugly into jars, covered with lemon juice.
If you are lucky enough to have procured a stash of morel mushrooms, you will find that morels and preserved lemons were meant for each other in Morel Smothered Chicken
The lemons must soak in the brine for a minimum of 3 weeks before they are perfectly pickled, but I have been known to cheat and pull one out sooner. Sometimes a partially brined lemon is better than none at all.
A jar of preserved lemons will keep in the fridge for up to one year, but they won't last that long. Soon you'll be adding them to just about every savory dish.
Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives is a great party dish that tastes even better the day after it's made. If you make some preserved lemons now (it only takes about 15 minutes), you'll be cooking up Moroccan Chicken next month.
The perfect lemon, photographed by Gary Silberberg.
Search out the freshest lemons you can find, and you'll likely want to choose organic since you'll be eating the rind.
You'll also need a box of Kosher salt, a sharp knife, and a few jars with airtight lids. I am currently addicted to putting all sorts of food in Weck jars
, those vintage-looking yet highly practical canning jars.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Moroccan-style Preserved Lemons
I acquired this recipe from Mary Woollen, after taking her "Into the Kitchen" French cooking class. This recipe makes about 2 quarts of preserved lemons, divided any way you like into airtight jars.
The jars should be impeccably clean. Wash them in hot soapy water and let them dry completely before using, or sterilize the jars in the dishwasher.
- 12 organic lemons
- 1 -1 1/2 cups Kosher salt
1. Scrub the lemons well, and dry with a kitchen towel.
2. Cut them in half through the equator, and juice 4-6 lemons to get 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice, strained of seeds. Cut the rest of the lemons into halves or quarters, depending on the size of your jars. Remove as many seeds as you can with a knife.
3. Using a sharp knife, cut the lemon halves to the stem end without going through the stem. Cut between the flesh and the rind, without going all the way down to the stem. The stem end should remain intact to hold the lemon half together.
4. Rub kosher salt between the lemon rind and the flesh. Stuff as many salted lemons as you can into a jar, then fill with lemon juice. If you run out of lemon juice, add water so that the lemon pieces are completely covered. Leave a little room at the top, so that when you turn the jar over it mixes a bit. Cover tightly.
How much juice you get will depend on the quality of your lemons.
5. Every day or so for the next 3 days turn the jar over to mix and mingle the brine and the lemons. This is a good job for a kid to do while waiting for breakfast. After 3 days, put them in the refrigerator. They will be ready in 3 weeks, and even better after 3 months.
6. When ready to use, take out a piece of lemon, rinse under cold water to remove the salty brine, and pull off the pulp. Slice thin for Moroccan chicken, salads, stir-fries, curries, pan-fried vegetables, pasta with Brussels sprouts, or puree into your favorite Caesar salad dressing recipe.
Moroccan-style Preserved Lemons: give some to a lemon lover, keep some for yourself.
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