Lemon and salt….the mention of this delicious duo causes my mouth to water.  There’s a beautiful and simple way to incorporate a gentler and sweeter version of salty lemons, in abundance, to add into all kinds of dishes.  The pickling process takes minutes, lemons are sliced with an X, about 3/4 of the way from the top and pure white kosher salt is scooped into the cavity.  Again and again, the x-ed lemon and the salt, stuffed into a jar until there is no more room for anything else except for a shot or two of water.  This gorgeous yellow and gem filled jar sits on a shelf for around three days and then it’s into the fridge to saturate for a few weeks.

They’re preserved, they can be kept for a long while.  The entire lemon can be eaten, diced or sliced and sprinkled into and onto salads, grilled seafood and atop a homemade hummus or baba ganoush.  Perfectly added into pastas or arranged amongst vegetables and chicken to be roasted in the oven, the preserved lemon is the brightest addition to many a dish.

Preserved lemons are a staple in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine.  Meyer lemons are usually the best option as their flavor is naturally sweeter although any lemon will do.  After you’ve selected your lemons of choice, let them sit to ripen until they are bursting with juice.  For an added earthiness or twist on flavor, add some peppercorns, coriander seeds, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, chili pepper, or rosemary. The intensity remains with the lemon but a subtle depth can be acquired with addition of another ingredient or two.  I hope you try this and please, I’d love to know about any of your favorite recipes!

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