Preserved lemons are pickled lemon in water and salt. They are beautifully fragrant and their flavour is unique which makes them irreplaceable in Moroccan cuisine, where they are usually added to tagines and salads.
They are special cause they have the ability to add a citrusy and fragrant scent to all your dishes. Chop and add them to your salad, couscous, rice and meats, you won’t be disappointed.
Nowadays you can find preserved lemons in many stores, however it’s a lot of fun and very easy to make them! It will take you a couple of minutes and you will end up with a jar full of preserved lemons-to-be and the conviction to be a DIY Moroccan food expert.
In Morocco we preserve different kinds of lemons, my favourite ones to preserve are the Meyer lemons. Meyer lemons are a kind of "baby lemons" that are lemony, soft and sweet at the same time, my cousins and I use to fight over the last preserved Meyer lemon when we were kids. We used to eat them like candy. This was a long time ago and now I live in London where evidently there is no Meyer lemon trees, so today, we will just use regular lemons (but if you do know where I can find them in London, please let me know).
Makes 5 preserved lemons
- 5 lemons
- 10 teaspoons salt
- 150 ml lemon juice
• Half the lemons lengthwise from their tops to within 2 cm on one side (stopping just short of the stem end) and repeat the same process on the opposite perpendicular side.
• For each lemon, fill the two sides of exposed flesh with one heaped teaspoon of salt; reshape the lemons and place in a large glass jar.
• Transfer enough lemon juice in the jar to cover the lemons.
• Tightly close the jar and keep in a cool and dark place for 4 weeks turning the jar upside down every week to evenly spread the salt and the juice.
• After 4 weeks, place the preserved lemons jar in the fridge for conservation. Once in the fridge, you can use them for up to a year, just make sure the preserved lemons are covered with salted lemon juice. Don’t hesitate to add more lemon juice if all the lemons are not covered
• Make sure you use a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid to pack the lemons.
• For your convenience, take note of the day you made the preserved lemons, I always forget.
• Sometimes a white and lacy substance appears on the lemons after a while, this doesn't mean that your lemons have expired, just rinse the white substance and use them as you normally would.