Preserved lemon is a common component in North African cuisine. Preserving them takes the tartness out of them while enhancing the actual lemon flavour. They are great in tagines, stews, fish dishes and sauces. Once preserved, it’s the peel which is used, but I find the ‘meat’ and also the pickling liquid lovely to use in spicing up salad dressings.
250g (roughly) good quality sea salt
1 large glass jar
Few extra lemons in case you need more juice
Preserved Lemons Method
Clean the lemons and quarter them. Then tightly pack the lemons into the jar, packing salt in between them generously as you go. Once all the lemons are in, press down and pack more salt on top. The salt will naturally extract the moisture from the lemons. If you see the liquid doesn’t fully cover the lemons, squeeze some lemons and pour the juice over them in the jar ensuring that no air is trapped. Seal the jar and let it sit in a cool dark place for at least three months, turning the jars over occasionally. Once opened, keep in fridge under liquid.
Try with a lamb tagine or stew; or chop up the rind to add a zingy flavour to dips or pasta sauces.