January 13, 2010

Preserved lemons

About this time last year I made a (for me) huge batch of preserved lemons.  It was the best thing I did all winter. I ended up using them in so many dishes.  My version of Gremolata that ended up topping bread, pasta and soups.  Anywhere that I could have used olives I tried out the lemons. I still have part of one jar from last years batch.  This years batch is brewing away. This is one of the easiest recipes around.  All you need is a large jar or ceramic container. I make mine in an old cookie container that is shaped like a traditional pickle crock.

Preserved Lemons

6 lemons 
kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from 5 to 6 additional lemons)

Blanch lemons in boiling water 5 minutes, then drain. When cooled cut the lemons. This can be done a number of different way. 

I prefer to either thinly slice them or to cut the lemon into wedges but with one end attached.

If using slices layer the salt and lemons in your container until your lemons are gone. Finish off with an additional layer of salt and 1 c of lemon juice.

If using whole lemons pack the cuts into the lemons with salt and place in your container. Top with salt and 1 c of lemon juice.

Let lemons stand at room temperature, shaking gently once a day, for 5 days. If using an unsealed container you can weight the lemon with a plate and ziploc of salted water. At the end if the 5 days there should be enough brine to cover the lemons.  If not top with additional lemon juice.  I let my lemons ferment for about 3 weeks but they are read to use after the initial 5 days.

I canned my lemons after the three weeks so that I could have them on hand for the rest of the year. Well that and my fridge is smaller that what most dorms have.  I processed them for 15 mins.  If you have more free space in your fridge just place them in you fridge and enjoy.

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