A staple in Moroccan cooking, preserved lemons add a tart, salty, floral flavor to many dishes, from roasted chicken to salads and dips.
Makes about two pint-sized jars.
- 6-8 whole lemons
- 4-5 tablespoons salt
- Whole spices to taste such as black pepper, coriander, or cumin seeds, chili peppers, bay leaves, etc. (optional)
- Wash and dry lemons. Slice off the ends to create a flat top and bottom.
- Stand each lemon on one of the flat ends and cut into quarters
- Pour 1/2 tbsp salt into the bottom of the jar, place four lemon quarters in the jar, and sprinkle 1/2 tbsp salt evenly on top of the for slices.
- Repeat with each quartered lemon, alternating layers of 4 slices and 1/2 salt, till the jar is tightly packed with lemon slices. Sprinkle 1 tbsp on top of the final layer of slices.
- If using spices, sprinkle them in with the layers of lemons and salt.
- Use a pestle to press on the lemons and extract as much juice as possible. Top off the jar with fresh lemon juice if needed.
- Seal the jar and store the lemons in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks, shaking every day to redistribute salt and help it dissolve. Once rinds are tender, move the jar into the refrigerator.
- To use, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. The minced rind is added at the very end of cooking or used raw; the pulp can be added to a simmering pot.
Preserved lemons will keep in the refrigerator for about 6 months.