Preserved Meyer Lemons
|March 11, 2012||Posted by Ashley Marie under Canning|
I first tried preserved lemons during my sophomore year of culinary school. We were studying the cuisine of Morocco, and I was simultaneously introduced to preparing foods in a tagine. It was a stew of lamb, vegetables, olives, and preserved lemons. The rich hunks of meat and the thick stew base was offset by the tart olives and the tangy punch of thinly sliced preserved lemons. I loved them, but since then I’ve been deduced to thinking that they’re best (and only) used in tagine-style Moroccan cooking.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
These little guys are delicious. They’re flavor is bright and pleasantly pungent. And, um, they go in and with just about anything. Some (but by golly, not all!) of their uses include:
- Salad dressing and marinades
- Roasted chicken or other meats
- Use the juices to rub on fish before grilling
- Chop up the lemons and add them to couscous or any type of grain salads
- Add diced lemons to pasta with good olive oil, shaved parmesan, and fresh basil
- Gremolata (a condiment of chopped herbs, lemon zest, garlic, and parsley) for fish or on top of a white bean bruschetta
- Tagine cooking. Here’s a great book for that!
- Experiment with any dish where a lemon is found!
And by the way, this has to be the easiest way to preserve something in the entire universe of “putting away.” Cut the lemons, add salt, put into a jar and let the juice form. Give it two shakes of a feather, and place it in the fridge for about three weeks. Ta-dah! Preserved lemons for all your dishes. Still need a recipe? (Yes, mother, I hear your voice in the back of my head.) Well then, here you go. Now make up! Because when mine are gone I’ll fiercely need to replenish.
8-10 small Meyer lemons
About 1 cup of kosher or pickling salt
1 quart mason jar
Cut both ends off of each of the lemons. Stand the lemons up, and cut into quarters; be sure not to cut all the way through, leaving them slightly attached at the bottom. Place about two tablespoons of salt in the bottom of the glass jar. Holding the lemon over the jar, gently spread open the quarters and spill one tablespoon into the crevices. Repeat for all of the lemons and pack tightly into the jar. Close the jar and give it a little shake to let the juice spread around the lemons. Let the jar sit at room temperature for two days until it fills up with juice*. If there is not enough juice to fill the entire jar, add some fresh. Transfer the jar to the refrigerator and let preserve for three weeks. The lemons will last up to one year.
*Be sure to place a small saucer under your jar while they’re preserving on the counter. There will always be a bit of salty brine that leaks out of the jar. If you don’t do this, most likely your jar will stick to the counter in a salty pile of dried goo and be hard to remove. But I don’t know this from experience.
P.S. Maybe a preserved lemon syrup is in place? Perhaps for a cocktail…