Monday, August 4, 2014

Perserved Lemons

        It's an old Moroccan staple and as for as pantry items go preserved lemons hold great intrinsic value. Just a small amount stirred into a quick sauté adds an inner depth of flavor that is incredible. And if you pair them with the bold flavors of their North African and Middle Eastern dishes, preserved lemons are as tasty as any good fruity olive.

        You have to make sure that you scrub the lemons very clean before quartering them. Next simply cut the tips off your lemons and then quarter gather the lemon rub the insides with salt (about 2 tablespoons salt per lemon), and pack them into your (also very clean) jar, squishing them down into the bottom. Add enough additional fresh lemon juice to cover the lemons completely, cover the jar, and leave it out on the counter for about a week, giving it a turn every so often. Make a good space for the jar in your fridge, and let it sit for another month or so, with an occasional turn and shake. They’ll keep perfectly, refrigerated, for at least a year. That said, making traditional preserved lemons at home is genuinely easy and well worth the work if you plan ahead. I’ll use roughly eight small lemons for one quart-sized jar, with about a cup of kosher salt. And depending on my mood, I may add a stick or two of cinnamon, a bay leaf or some whole peppercorns (or all three, or none at all).

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