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

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.