I recently came into a lot of lemons. Our neighbours and a work colleague offloaded their goodness onto me, and I am so grateful! There was no way my normal lemon usage (which is quite high) would get through these babies while still at their peak, so preserving was decided. If you have never made preserved lemons before, put it on your ‘must do’ list right now!! Not only is it fun, but you will be left with one of THE best condiments that adds much more than flavour to your food. Preserving and fermenting food in this way encourages the proliferation of good bacteria, which then go crazy producing vitamins, enzymes, breaking down phytic acid and proteins, and helping us to digest properly. Eating this good bacteria also helps to maintain a healthy gut and digestive system.
And the best thing is you can sneak them into almost anything! Slice them finely and add to sauteed vegetables and stir frys, braises and sauces. Mix through dips or tepenades, rice and couscous dishes, salad dressings, sorbets, curries, and of course anything Moroccan. Hummus on a cracker? Nice. Add a fine slice of preserved lemon – TASTE EXPLOSION! You get the idea. Check out this recipe for Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon. Note that as there is quite a bit of salt used in the making, anything you add them to will take this on also, so tone down any other salt in the dish.
5 lemons – organic or home grown please as you are eating the skin
3 tablespoons-ish of good quality sea salt – not table salt
Extra lemons for extra juice
A cinnamon stick (optional)
A bay leaf (optional)
A sprinkle of coriander seeds (optional)
Wash the lemons, cut the end