When life hands you lemons, do as the Moroccans do, and preserve them!
The truth is that there are few things in life I love more than a bowl full of lemons. They’re such a beautiful, versatile fruit- zest them, juice them, slice them up thin… I can think of a dozen things I can do with a fresh lemon right off the top of my head. And one of those things is to preserve them.
If you’ve never cooked with preserved lemons, be forewarned: you’re likely to become addicted, seeking out their singular goodness in every stew you make from hereon out. Yes, they’re that good. And so easy to make!
Homemade Moroccan Preserved Lemons
You’ll need a lot of lemons, the number of which depend on the size of your container. My husband and I purchased a large glass jar for this, but any airtight container should do. I recommend glass, ceramic or stone- not plastic or metal.
Scrub the lemons clean, then quarter them, but make sure to leave them attached on one side, sort of like a blooming flower. Sprinkle each lemon generously with sea salt, rock salt, pickling salt or kosher salt. Don’t use fine table salt.
Pack the lemons tightly into the container, adding spices if you like (totally optional)- examples would be bay leaves, a cinnamon stick, some coriander seeds… whatever you like.
Or leave them plain. Which is what I like.
You want to push the lemons down constantly so they release their juices, and ultimately become completely covered in their own juices. You can also squeeze some more lemon juice on top of this.
Keep in a cool, dark place (I am forced to use the refrigerator). They will be ready in about a month.