Published on October 25th, 2010 | by Gareth
Preserved lemons are one of the en vogue ingredients. I’m not sure why it has taken the ‘Western world’ so long to cotton on to this fantastic pantry addition considering it has been a staple of Morocco and the Mediterranean for so long. Preserved lemons are hugely versatile, their salty sharpness can add something extra special to everything from tanginess to salads to charcoal barbequed chicken.
The best part? They are cheap and easy all you need to invest is a few dollars and a bit of patience, but trust me it is an investment that will reward you bucket loads.
- 5 small lemons, preferably un-waxed, I used Abbotsleigh lemons
- 4 large lemons
- 2oog rock salt
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 star anise pod
- 1 x 500ml jar (sealable)
- Sterilise the jar by washing in hot soapy water, rinse in clean water and place in a pre-heated oven at 100 degrees for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to remove the rubber seal before putting in the jar in the oven. You can sterilise this part by submersing in boiling water for a few minutes. Allow the jar to thoroughly cool before using.
- Scrub the lemons, especially if they are waxed.
- Make cuts in the small lemons end to end, but not all the way through.
- Add a layer of salt to the bottom of the jar.
- Holding the lemons end to end, apply pressure so the cuts open.
- Add half to one teaspoon of the salt into each cut.
- Squash the lemons tightly into the jar adding a layer of salt between each layer.
- Add the peppercorns and spice and the juice from the remaining lemons. This should fill the jar too the top covering the lemons with liquid.
- Seal the jar and store in a cool dark place for 2-3 weeks.
- Once pickled, the lemons will last for well over 6 months. Finely chop the preserved lemon in salads, stuffing, with chicken or fish for an extra salty lemony zing.