Thursday, January 8, 2009

Preserved Meyer Lemons

In the past few years I have been quite taken with Meyer Lemons. Originating from China, and thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, these thin-skinned, mildly acidic fruits are pure loveliness and make a great stand-in for regular old lemons. I decided to preserve them, Moroccan style, and look forward to using them in the months to come.

Preserving lemons is easy, and the gently perfumed end result is well worth the minor effort. All that's needed is lemons, some pint canning jars, kosher salt, olive oil and patience. If you want to add an additional layer of flavor, cloves, cardamom pods, or cinnamon sticks can be packed in the jars along with the lemons.

  • 2 pounds Meyer Lemons (about 5-7)

  • ½ cup of kosher salt

  • Olive oil

Cut all but one of the lemons into eight wedges and get rid of any seeds. Combine the wedges and the salt in a bowl and toss well to coat. Pack into 2 pint jars, tightly, pressing on them as you pack to extract the juices. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon and pour over the jars evenly.

Set jars aside for one week at room temperature, shaking gently once a day. After the week is up, pour olive oil onto any remaining space at the top of the jars and refrigerate. The lemons will keep 6 months to a year in the fridge.

Below are some links to some fantastic sounding recipes using Preserved Lemons:

Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemons from The New York Times

Braised Lamb Shank with Preserved Lemons from The New York Times

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash & Preserved Lemon from Gourmet Magazine

Preserved Lemon and Olive Mayonnaise from Bon Appetit

Italian Tuna and Shaved Fennel Sandwich with Black Olive Paste from Epicurious

Buffalo Mozzarella with Preserved Lemon and Crispy Basil Leaves from Donna Hay


Scott Rohr said...

Oh how this takes me back to my childhood on the outskirts of Tangier. The sun was so bright we would have to squint as the fruit peddlers came down the lane, but we knew that if we waited patiently we'd be rewarded with a delicious lemon half, dipped in sugar and mint. Sucking on the cool, tart citrus kept us refreshed on those days when the Tangier Bay shared none of its palliative breezes. Assalam Oualaikoum!

Eric V. said...

Suck on this, Kuta Kinta.

Eric said...

I think you might need a taster to try out all these new recipes. Let me be the first to volunteer.

See you in a week then?

Scott Rohr said...

Beautiful new masthead today!