This morning I looked outside at my Meyer lemon trees and decided that it was time to pick the fruit. I gave my son a bucket and he came back with about 30 lemons. I figured it was the perfect day to make preserved lemons. They are easy to make, but impossible to make at the last minute as they need a good long soak.
Preserved lemons are lemons that have been covered in salt and packed into a jar with lemon juice poured over them. Some recipes have the lemons stored in slices, some in quarters, others are left whole with long slices through them. The result is an intensely flavored lemon that is often used in Moroccan cooking.
I decided to use this very simple recipe from Williams-Sonoma. Once the lemons are packed into a jar with kosher salt and lemon juice, you store them at room temperature for the first week, and then they last in the refrigerator for a few months.
Often, the lemons are stored with other items such as spices or olives, but I decided to make this first batch without anything extra. I have another item on The List that is “Buy a tagine and cook in it, ” so I’ll attempt that in about a month, with preserved lemons and maybe this tagine or this one.
If you don’t have access to a lemon tree, Trader Joe’s sells Meyer lemons in a little bag. Thin skinned lemons are preferable. My Meyer lemons were on the small side, so I used about 8 for a quart jar.
For the next week, I’ll be topping off the lemons with additional lemon juice and giving the jar an occasional shake. I can’t wait to cook with them.
337 days to go!