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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Preserved Lemons

They don't look like much but they pack a lot of amazing lemon flavor!
I think preserved lemons are wonderful: lemony, salty, just a little tart. I have a recipe that makes 8 of them, which is a lot because you don't need much in any recipe and they take up a bit of room in the fridge for months and months.

I recently found a recipe for just 2 of them. I started them yesterday and they should be ready to use in a week (though not at their best - that takes a month). It's really simple and you can keep them in a pint jar. This is just what I need to make this recipe - Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives - more often. Try it. You will love its fresh Mediterranean flavors. You don't need to make your own preserved lemons. They are now available at many good markets. But, it's so easy to do it, why not!

Preserved Lemons
(makes 2)

2 whole lemons, washed and dried
coarse salt, like kosher salt
about ½ cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons)

Cut the lemons into eighths. Pour a layer of salt into a shallow dish. Roll each lemon piece in the salt to cover. Drop in a pint canning jar with a tight-fighting lid. When all the lemons are in the jar, pour in enough lemon juice to cover. Squish the pieces down to remove any air bubbles. Cover tightly and leave on the counter at room temperature for 1 week. Each day invert. After 1 week, they are ready to use but they will be at their best after 1 month. Store in the fridge after 1 week. Will keep for at least 6 months.

From Cooking with Fruit by Rolce Redard Payne and Dorrit Speyer Senior, Random House, 1992.

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