If you’ve never made preserved lemons before, you are completely missing out. I got interested in the idea of preserved lemons after getting tired of forgotten fresh lemons drying out and going bad. It’s always frustrating to throw out wasted produce. Especially lemons. When I received my first ever preserving book, Canning for a New Generation, one of the first recipes I tried was “Preserved Lemons”. Let me tell you: Preserved Lemons have changed my life. I can now order lemons in bulk when they are seasonally at their best and enjoy the taste of lemons all year long! As much cooking – and*ahemdrinkingahem* – as I do, one quart of preserved lemons lasts me about a year. Preserved Lemons are pickled lemons that have been pickled in their juices and salt. You can use the pulp of the preserved lemons in recipes, however, keep in mind that it is salty and briny. The magic of the preserved lemon is in the rind. The rind becomes a beautiful, soft, chewy pickle that is palatable and goes a long way in recipes. I know it seems counterintuitive to eat citrus rind but trust me on this. In the middle of summer when lemons are not at their best – or when you just don’t want to go to the grocery store – I have substituted finely chopped preserved lemon rind in any recipe that calls for lemon zest. I have whirred up a few slices in the blender and used the paste in recipes that call for lemon juice. There’s a great lemon vinaigrette and a great Preserved Lemon Roasted Chicken recipes that I use with these lemons (those recipes to follow in the future). Pretty soon, you will find that your refrigerator feels empty without a jar within reach.
1. Slice 4 lemons into eights (or smaller if you have really big lemons)
3. Sprinkle half tablespoon over the layer of lemons slices
4. Repeat layering lemons and kosher salt until you fill the quart jar up to the neck.
5. Let the lemons sit on your counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours, fill the quart jar with fresh lemon juice, ensuring that you cover the lemons.
6. Let the lemons sit for a week.
7. Label and place in the fridge. After a week in the fridge, check your lemons. If they have expanded, add more lemon juice to cover the lemons. They will keep for about a year in the fridge.