31 October 2009

preserving lemons

Preserved lemons are great not only for their complex flavor, but they are a great source of tang when you don't have fresh lemons on hand. And they are incredibly easy to make. And two pounds of lemons, as pictured, could easily last a year. Buy organic lemons, obviously, as you'll be eating the skin (pickling lemons takes out the bitterness of the rind but makes the flesh too salty to use). This is the first time I've added spices: a dried cayenne pepper, a few cloves, some coriander and a bay leaf.

Either slice almost in quarters (as seen above) or cut four slits into the sides the lemon. Fill the cuts with salt. Pack tightly into a jar with more salt. Top off with some juice, if needed. I squeezed two pounds into a liter jar and only needed a few tablespoons of juice. Add more juice if needed later on. Let sit a month or so, until soft. Then refrigerate.

And next spring, these will be ready for asparagus and ramps.

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