Try this Unique and Fun Flavor
The salty -tangy flavor of a preserved lemon will make your dish sing with flavor. They are easy to make with only two ingredients and thirty minutes worth of effort. After a month of fermenting you will have a jar of preserved lemons available for the next year.
This recipe uses Meyer lemons which are a lemon, mandarin-orange hybrid---they're sweeter than regular lemons. They can be found in most grocery stores in January and February. Meyer lemons work particularly well for preserving because their rind is delicate and their pulp has a sweeter flavor than other lemons.
Preserved lemons use salt to inhibit yeast activity and create an environment for lactic acid fermentation. This food preservation method has long been used in Moroccan foods, but can add a unique flavor profile to your own home cooking. I use kosher or canning salt because they don't contain anti-caking ingredients or minerals that would create off flavors and cloudiness.
Watch my short time-lapse video to see the simple process of making preserved lemons.
My instructions for preserved lemons will take about a month of fermentation. If you're looking for a quicker method for making preserved lemons, check out these instructions for Sunset magazine's Speedy Preserved Meyer Lemons. I haven't tried this version, but it cuts the time down to about a week.
Have you ever tasted preserved lemons? Have you made preserved lemons before? I have been experimenting with recipes using these tasty, lemony bites and I will be sharing them with you in the coming months. In the meantime, I challenge you to get a jar of preserved lemons fermenting on your counter. We can share our recipes in the months ahead.
- 1 quart mason jar with plastic lid
- 1 pound Meyer lemons about 4 lemons
- ¼ cup salt kosher salt or canning salt
- Sterilize a 1 quart canning jar.
- Cut washed lemons into quarters lengthwise, leaving them attached at the base. Remove the seeds.
- Rub the salt into the cut surfaces and rind of the cut lemons. Press each lemon into the quart jar, releasing the juices with each push.
- Make sure that lemons are entirely covered in lemon juice. Add any leftover salt to the jar. If needed, place a small canning jar on the lemons to push them under the brine. Additional fresh lemon juice can be added if needed.
- Cover with a plastic lid and allow to ferment at room temperature until the lemons have completely soften, about 30 days. Every few days, shake your lemons to keep the salt dispersed in the brine.
- Preserved lemons will last in the refrigerator for one year.
Karen, what ways do you use the preserved lemons? Do you have any tasty recipes that used preserved lemons? Thanks, Eileen
Eileen, you'd love the freshness that preserved lemons can add to a dish. Try my Herb Preserved Lemon Herb Sauce as a starting point, then consider adding to any savory dish that calls for lemon. When I add preserved lemons I usually decrease the salt in the recipe because the preserved lemons add saltiness. My favorite is roasted beets with preserved lemon and a balsamic vinaigrette!