September 30, 2011

Simple preserved lemons


I've been going through my stuff, drawer by drawer, organising, de-cluttering and trying to decide what stays and what goes. Now is the best time to do this, before we settle in to our new home. No matter how simple life I've tried to lead, I have somehow managed to accumulate a fair bit of stuff during these 6 years in Australia. I'm trying to be brutal, but remain reasonable, as I sort my way through clothes, bags, books, linen, etc etc.

This morning I took some time off to prepare these simple preserved lemons. This is certainly not something I grew up making or eating, but in recent years I've learned to appreciate the flavour and I love adding some preserved lemon into many dishes. I recommend you use unwaxed, organic lemons for this as it is the zest you'll be using. Otherwise the process is dead simple, although a little patience is needed.



 Simple preserved lemons
(recipe adapted from taste.com.au)

4 whole organic lemons
+ 5-6 organic lemons, juiced
1/2 cup good sea salt 

1. Scrub the lemons clean. Cut a half a centimetre piece out of the bottom of each lemon.

2. Place the lemons, cut side down, on a chopping board and cut a deep cross-section on each lemon. Fill the cavities with salt. 

3. Place the lemons in a sterilised jar, squash them down if needed. 

4. Pour enough lemon juice on top to cover the lemons. Seal the jar and leave in a dark, cool place for about 4 weeks. Make sure to check up on the lemons every now and then and re-fill the jar with lemon juice to keep all the lemons covered.

5. To consume, remove the lemon from the brine, rinse and cut the rind discarding the flesh and the white pith.


29 comments:

  1. Oh, I've thinking about making preserved lemons for awhile! Looking forward to seeing how you apply them to your future dishes. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the simplicity in this; looks so fresh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've still never tried preserved lemons but I keep hearing great things about them. I can't wait to see what dishes you use them in.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have never tasted preserved lemons :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this simplified version :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm mad for preserved lemons! I like to preserve the meyer lemons. Just ran out of the batch I put up last January. :( Gotta wait for citrus season to come 'round again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderful! I love making tajines with them and adding them to sauces for taht extra lemony kick.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  8. Täällä säilöttyjä sitruunoita käytetään paljon,ja niinpä niitä löytääkin joka paikasta,yleensä sieltä,missä myydään oliiveja ja muita sen sellaisia juttuja.Mutta olisi kiva itsekin tehdä joskus niitä. Kauniit kuvat taas!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great idea, I would never thought of preserving lemons. Thanks for this one. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful recipe and photos - I have always wondered whether you can make preserved lemons easily at home. Now I know!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am moving house too, and doing just that! Throwing stuff out always feels good :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can just smell the fresh sweetness of the lemons while you are doing this! It looks so wonderful and makes me want to go out and get a whole bag of lemons right now! Awesome

    ReplyDelete
  13. This has been on my want to make list for far to long. Gorgeous photos.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, I adore preserved lemons. We never used them when I was a culinary school student - we only used fresh - but I use them at home at least once a week and am thrilled to see a recipe for making my own. (If you want to see what we did cook at culinary school, here you go: "Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood" - http://amzn.to/oqXw1R ). Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mmmmm! Yummy! I would eat these raw...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am a huge fan of preserved lemons. I put them in nearly everything. So delicious. Yours, as usual, look gorgeous. Good luck with the move and purge. It's never easy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am suddenly interested in pickling and this recipe came along at the right now! I just pickled some stuffed red chilies and green chilies in Indian style! How do you use these preserved lemons in cooking? Will you also share some recipes using these?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've been meaning to attempt to make preserved lemons because they are featured in so many Middle Eastern recipes but are super expensive. Thanks for this tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great idea. Preserved lemons are so handy. I use them to perk up all kinds of braises and chicken dishes. They are a must in the pantry. How very nice to have your own brew!

    ReplyDelete
  20. These lemons are definitely on my list of things to make.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love preserved lemons; one of my fondest food memory was a tagine made by an Algerian friend in paris, with chicken, green olives and preserved lemons. Pure delight on the palate.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I always get inundated with lemons from my parent's tree and always vow to preserve some (there's a limit after all for how much lemon curd one person can consume each season) :-). Will definitely put this on the top of my to do list this next season.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So easy :) I always have a jar on hand...love how they can brighten up couscous or a simple salad, & of course anything Moroccan.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Success! Success! Success! I am jumping for joy elated to report that the preserved I made using your wonderful recipe was successful. Big time. I can’t believe that I did it. (Normally I never seem to get it right on the first try.) So thank you, thank you. It's no doubt due to your terrific and easy-to-follow instructions.

    Eleanor

    ReplyDelete
  25. Have just found your blog and I'm very inspired already !! Do you need to sterilize the jars first ?? Thankyou
    Lauren
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lauren,
      Yes, please see above

      "3. Place the lemons in a sterilised jar, squash them down if needed."

      Maria
      x

      Reply

      Delete
    2. When you say "seal the jar" do you mean just close it, or do you actually seal it using a pressure canner or water bath?

      Delete
    3. Hi there!

      I used an airtight jar with a rubber sealer and it worked just fine. You don't need to use a pressure canner for this as long as the jars are sterilized.

      Thanks for your question!

      Maria

      Delete