Savory Lemon Week: Moroccan Preserved Lemons

C – I’ve had preserved lemons before … they weren’t like this.

Jim really wanted to try making Moroccan preserved lemons with the Meyer lemons we had. There were a few issues. I didn’t want to make them because all of the preserved lemons I’ve had tasted really bitter. They are considered medicinal in many Asian cultures.

Jim had never heard of preserved lemons being medicinal and wanted me to try some of these Moroccan ones.

I couldn’t possibly wait a month to try preserved lemons. Buying them from Amazon was surprisingly expensive. So, I was lucky enough to find a seven-day recipe to try out. Of course, I made the 30-day one also to see the difference. They were much cheaper than the ones I could have ordered online.

Another issue was Luke thought the skins of Meyer lemons were too thin. We needed to get regular lemons. Yikes, I would actually have to go buy lemons! After a lot of research, I figured out using Meyer lemons was perfect. We wanted the thin skins, so that the lemons could absorb the salt quickly. This makes the curing process a lot faster. I am so glad I didn’t need to buy any regular lemons.

The process was pretty easy. To start, just cut the lemons into wedges. For the 30 day process you cut them into quarters, but not all the way through. Leave the bottom portion of the lemon connected. You sprinkle kosher salt all over them and place in a jar. Press and squeeze out some of the juice and continue until you fill the jar up.

The seven one is even easier. Cut the lemons into smaller wedges, cutting them off completely. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle kosher salt over them. Place them into a jar and squeeze the juice out of them within the jar. Cover and let them sit on a counter top.

The hard part is waiting. Everyday I would look at those jars. Picking them up and shaking them once or twice. I am just impatient. Of course, shaking it does help distribute the salt better. When the week was over, I almost forgot it was time for a taste test.

Savory Lemon Week: Moroccan Preserved Lemons
Recipe type: Sauces
Author:
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 1 jar each
Ingredients
7 day method
  • 4 Meyer lemons
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup salt
  • 1 sterilized pint jar
Optional herbs and spice
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 Thai chili peppers
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
30 day method
  • 4 Meyer lemons
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp salt
  • 1 sterilized pint jar
Optional herbs and spice
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 Thai chili peppers
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
Instructions
7-Day Method
  1. Cut the lemons into 8 wedges. Place them in a medium bowl.
  2. Add salt into bowl. Toss the lemons until completely covered with salt.
  3. Place lemons four to five wedges time into the jar.
  4. Squeeze the juice out of the lemons to cover them.
  5. Add spices between each layer, if using.
  6. Continue until lemons are filled to the top.
  7. Make sure lemons are completely covered with juice. If not, add more of the fresh juice.
  8. Leave in room temperature for one month. Shake jar daily to distribute the salt and seasonings throughout the lemons.
30-Day Method
  1. Place one tablespoon of salt on the bottom of the jar.
  2. Cut each lemon into four leaving ½ inch of the bottom attached.
  3. Using the remaining salt to coat the lemons inside and out.
  4. Place lemons one at a time into the jar.
  5. Squeeze the juice out of the lemons to cover each lemon.
  6. Add spices between each layer if using.
  7. Continue until lemons are filled to the top.
  8. Make sure lemons are completely covered with juice if not add more of the fresh juice.
  9. Leave in room temperature for one month. Shake jar daily to distribute the salt and seasonings throughout the lemons.
Using Preserved Lemons
  1. To use, remove from jar and scrape off the pulp. Reserve the pulp and place in a strainer. Squeeze the juice from the pulp to use. Discard the remainder of the pulp.
  2. Use the peels. Cut the peels into thin strips and then dice them. Use them in couscous recipes or Moroccan stews.
  3. Just the juice in the jar for cooking. If the juice is too bitter use fresh lemon juice instead.
  4. Unopened preserved lemons can be left out in room temperature for up to a year. Once opened, place in refrigerator for up to a year.
  5. Enjoy!

 

These lemons wasn’t like anything I was expecting. You don’t eat the entire lemon. Just the skin and the juice. Placed in Moroccan dishes, these lemons added a nice and unique lemon flavor. It’s a surprisingly refreshing lemon taste.

I can’t wait to see what happens in 30 days when the other batch is done. I will keep you posted.

Adapted from: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2006/12/moroccan-preser-1/

3 thoughts on “Savory Lemon Week: Moroccan Preserved Lemons

  1. These look delicious! I think I might give these a try! I’m curious as to how the 30 day ones turn out. Pinning.

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