- Every winter when my grocer sells Meyer lemons, I get a half dozen or so and make a new batch of preserved lemons. Fermentation preserves the lemons, which will keep at least six to twelve months. I use the preserved lemons in entrées, side dishes and salads; see Cooking with Preserved Lemons below.
- Any variety of lemon will work, but Meyer lemons are favored because of their thin skins and fruity flavor.
- Glass jars with lids. I prefer wide-mouth half-pint jars with plastic lids; over time, lemon juice and salt can corrode a metal lid. One jar can hold about 4 lemons.
- Optional: Wide-mouth glass pickling pebbles (1 per jar) keep the lemons submerged.
4 Meyer or conventional lemons
2 conventional lemons (for juicing)
1/3 cup kosher salt (or maybe a little more)
- Wash and dry all the lemons. Pop off the stem/blossom from each lemon.
- Quarter the 4 Meyer lemons. NOTE: Some cooks almost quarter the lemons leaving the four pieces joined at the base. This makes a pretty presentation, but quartering the lemons makes it easier to pack the jars.
- Dredge the quarters generously in kosher salt. They should be heavily coated. Add more salt if the 1/3 cup is not enough.
- Pack the lemon quarters tightly into one or two glass jars. Press down to release juice.
- Optional: Add a glass pickling pebble to keep the lemons from floating.
- Juice the conventional lemons. Add the juice until the lemon quarters are completely covered.
- Cover the jar with a plastic lid.
- Invert the jar to mix the salt...and then tip it back.
- Let stand at room temperature for seven days, inverting at least once a day.
- After a week, chill in fridge.
- The lemon juice will take on an oily texture.
- Preserved lemon will keep six to twelve months -- or longer.
|Note glass pebble to left.|
- Except for the stem/blossom and seeds, all of the lemon is edible, however some do not like the pulp. Decide for yourself.
- The liquor and pulp can be added to salad dressing.
- The liquor and rind can be added to salads, side dishes, pasta and entrées for flavor or a garnish.
- Remove a lemon quarter. Rinse briefly to remove excess salt. Scrape away the pulp. If you like to use the pulp, return it to the jar. Chop the rind and add to your recipes.
- If minced rind is cooked into an entrée, the rind will cook away to nothing. The flavor will remain, but you may not see the rind.
- Because it's salty, it’s best to taste your food before adding salt to any recipe that uses preserved lemons.
- Indian restaurants often serve spiced preserved lemons as a condiment.
- Here are more ideas!