Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What's Cooking Wednesday 2 - Preserved Lemons
Last week, our guests Paula and Angelo arrived with a basket full of gorgeous lemons from their home in Monterosso in the Cinque Terre.
The lemons are almost too beautiful to cut and use, but when Sue and Jeff arrived, Jeff told me that he had made preserved lemons at home and that they were fabulous as a marinade for grilled chicken. So I decided to dedicate a few lemons to this cause, and made myself a jar of them, using Jeff's recipe:
Several (depending on the size of your jar) untreated lemons
Sel Marin or Course Kosher Salt
Cut the lemons in a star formation, slicing from the nib top ALMOST through to the bottom. Try to leave the lemon attached at the bottom. Make the same cut at a 90 degree angle, so that the lemon is in four wedges, but still attached at the bottom. I had to cut mine completely in half to get them to fit into my jar, but left them attached, 2 and 2 per lemon.
Salt generously inside and out (see photo).
Push down into the jar, squeezing them into the jar base with a wooden spoon and extracting as much juice as you can.
Do salted lemon after salted lemon, pushing downwards, until the jar is full and until the lemons are completely coated with their own juice. If necessary, juice a couple of extra lemons and add just the juice to make sure that all the lemons are completely covered with juice. Cover tightly.
Shake daily for three weeks.
Your lemons will be ready to use in three weeks. To use, wash the lemons to remove the salt and remove the pits. Some say to remove the fruit of the lemon and use only the rind, but both Jeff and Sue say that they love to use the fruit as well.
The lemons will keep in your fridge for up to six months.
Preserved lemons are an integral part of Moroccan cooking and are used in meat dishes and in couscous.
When my lemons are ready, I will post a recipe using them!