Thursday, 15 August 2013

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are easily made with just two things: lemons and salt. They keep for months in the fridge and you typically use the skin in your Middle Eastern dishes. Try making a batch you will never want to buy them. Before using them you rinse off the salt and remove the flesh and pith, eating the thin skin. This is a good place to use Organic lemons since you are eating the skin once preserved.

You will need:

  • a clean jar- sterilized in boiling water 5 minutes
  • lots of kosher salt
  • lemons as many as will fit in your jar

Step 1: wash your lemons. I suggest organic for this application but, if you are using non organic than wash the skins with a mild soap and water before using.

Step 2: slice down each lemon to almost the end (but don't cut all the way through!) Make two slices to create 4 quarters. Fill as much Kosher or sea salt you can into the center.

Step 3: jam as many lemons as you can into a clean, sterilized jar. Sprinkle a bit more salt and seal.

Place in fridge for at least a month. Shake every once in awhile to distribute juice and salt. After a month rinse before using and slice off the outer skin to use in your favourite dish. 

I made a couscous salad with mine

  • 2/3 cup dry couscous 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 preserved lemon - use skin only
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt/pepper to taste

Step 1: rinse under cold water and remove flesh and most of the pith. Chop skin.

Step 2: in a pan heat olive oil and toss couscous to toast for a minute or two.

Step 3: add boiling water, cover and remove from heat. Leave at least 5 minutes, once done fluff grains with a fork.

Step 4: in a small pan saute onions with salt and pepper until just starting to develop some browned edges.  Remove from heat and chop fine and add parsley, basil and lemon.

Step 5: toast pumpkin seeds in same pan for a few minutes.

Toss all ingredients and add a bit of fresh olive oil and perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice.

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