Sunday, December 26, 2010

Preserved Lemons

Along the highway leading out of Valley Springs and into the central valley of California, is a little farming town where my mom went to high school.  And in that little town is a little library with a little parking lot.  And in that little parking lot are 4 trees growing wildly happy and full of fruit.  One orange, one lemon, one grapefruit and one blood orange.

And so I made the trip to that tiny little town and marveled at the bounty hanging from the branches.  With great appreciation those trees shared their fruit and I filled my paper bags, all the time wondering what fun I would soon be having in my kitchen.

Along the highway I made my way home to my own little town and my cozy house with its little kitchen.  And in my little kitchen I dumped those delicious looking lemons into the sink, gathered my sea salt, a large jar and a knife.

And what do you think I made?

Preserved Lemons
  • Lemons, Meyers I hear work best but these were a gift from Mother Nature so I won't complain
  • Sea salt
  • Large glass jar
  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Something to smash the lemons with
  1. Scrub and clean the lemons
  2. Cut each lemon into fourths but do not cut all the way through.  The four quarters of the lemon should still be attached at the bottom.
  3. Pour some salt into the bottom of the jar, about 2 tbsp
  4. Sprinkle salt into each lemon covering the quarters
  5. Add a layer of lemons into the jar, sprinkle with salt and then smash!  Smashing the juice out of the lemon.
  6. Add another layer of lemons, sprinkle once again with salt and then smash!
  7. Continue until entire jar is filled.
  8. Sprinkle one last spoonful of salt over lemons
By now there should be quite a bit of lemon juice on the bottom of the jar.  More juice will seep from the lemons as the salt does its work.  Place jar on counter in a warm place and each day for 30 days shake your jar to mix up the salt and lemon juice.  To use your lemons, rinse the salt off the lemon and serve as needed.  These lemons can keep up to a year and do not need to be refrigerated.

Preserved Lemons

Serve your preserved lemons with Moroccan recipes here.

One little bag of lemons preserved, one little bag of oranges left dreaming of their destiny.

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