Total Time: 15 Minutes (plus 30 days for preserving)
- 3 lemons
- 8 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Trim the ends off the lemons and slice into quarters, leaving the 4 quarters attached at one end, not slicing all the way through.
- Place one teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a large empty jar. Squish one lemon, cut end down, into the bottom of the jar. Spoon 1 teaspoon of salt over the top of the lemon. Repeat the squishing, layering and salting with the next two lemons. Finish with 1 teaspoon salt over the top lemon.
- Add just enough water to cover all of the exposed lemon peel (this will depend on how juicy your lemons were).
- Screw on the lid and leave at room temp for one month, shaking occasionally to distribute juice.
- Once opened, lemons will keep for many months in the refrigerator.
Why preserve your lemons you may be asking? Because the resulting taste is incredible! Preserving lemons eases out their tartness and amps up that beautiful lemony citrus flavor. It adds a pretty incredible depth of flavor if you've never tried it before! They are traditionally used in Moroccan and North African cooking, for use on meats, stews and salads.
And now to health benefits of the lemon! I think we're all aware of the love affair between citrus and vitamin c, the all-star immune booster. Lemons also pack some other punches that we can get excited about as well. Along with other citrus fruits such as grapefruit and oranges, they contain a whole lot of potassium and fiber in the form of pectin. Lemons are a great liver purifier and detoxifier. Lemon can stimulate the belly by activating your gastric juices to wake up and process the meal that's about to come.
And do not be afraid of the amount of salt in this recipe— you are making a pickle. In practice, preserved lemons are used in rather sparing amounts (I use a couple tablespoons for a whole carrot salad).
Have you tried preserved lemons before? On what type of dish?