Preserved lemons are just about the easiest and tastiest thing to preserve. Used often in Moroccan cooking, I have noticed that they are becoming more popular in other dishes lately like pasta, rice pilaf, and even soda. I made a quart sized jar of preserved lemons last winter and experimented with them throughout the year. They kept well in the fridge and brought some lively flavor to grilled meats, fish, rice dishes, and of course, Moroccan Chicken, Green Olive, and Preserved Lemon Tagine.
I made a quart sized jar for us at home and then I cut the recipe in half to make a pint jar for my Mom to try. Feel free to experiment around with different whole spices. I’ve seen recipes that call for star anise, cardamom pods, and other spices. I use this recipe because the spices aren’t overwhelming, so they can go in a lot of dishes.
Makes 1 quart
•8 lemons, scrubbed clean
•1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
•4 whole cloves
•2 bay leaves
•Lots of Kosher salt
Place the whole spices in the bottom of a very clean quart jar.
Slice the ends off of the lemons. Cut each lemon in quarters almost all the way through the fruit. Leave the bottom intact so that it opens up like a flower. Sprinkle a generous spoonful of Kosher salt into each of the lemons.
Pack the lemons into the jar tightly, pressing out the juice so that it covers the lemons. Add a bit more salt in the cracks and crevices of the jar. Top with a bit of extra salt.
Cover the jars with non-reactive lids and set aside for three weeks. Give the jars a shake every other day or so. The first few days you may have to push the lemons back down into the juice with a wooden spoon or a spatula. After a while they’ll just stay down on their own.
You’ll know your preserved lemons are ready when the juice has turned into a thick sort of syrup and the lemons take on a somewhat savory smell. Store in the refrigerator. Most recipes say that they will keep for about six months, but mine kept for a year without any problems.