Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It's been a while, a long while since I've written. Perhaps the shorter days are bringing out the food blogger in me again, but whatever it is, I'm ready to write (and cook and eat). In preparation for the winter months I decided some preserved lemons were an absolute necessity. They're found in practically every recipe I'm determined to try over the next few months. And the best part of making these pungent salt-pickled lemon peels is that it's incredibly easy as long as you're willing to wait a few weeks.
I got this particular recipe from the A16: Food + Wine cookbook, but most recipes are fairly similar as far as I've seen. I used homegrown Meyer lemons, and I recommend avoiding the waxy grocery store variety.
Lemons (ideally thin-skinned)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice as needed.
One glass jar
1. With a pairing or chef's knife slice each lemon from the blossom end cutting down through the flesh, stopping just before you break through the stem end. Make a second slice perpendicular to the first.
2. Carefully, open the four segments of each lemon and pack generously with salt.
3. Place the lemons in a glass jar leaving as little room as possible. They should really be stuffed in there. Cover with another generous couple tablespoons of salt.
4. Cover the jar tightly, and let it sit in a cool dark place (unrefrigerated) two to three days. The salt will draw out the juice from the lemons' flesh during this time.
5. When you feel as though the lemons have given up most of their juice, open the jar and top off the lemons with extra lemon juice until they are completely submerged.
6. Cover the jar tightly and leave it in your refrigerator three to four weeks.
When ready to use take a lemon from the jar and slice away the slice from the rind. Discard the flesh and use the preserved lemon rind as desired.