Preserved Lemons 4.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Jan 7, 2020

Bright and briny, these preserved lemons make a flavorful addition to cooked grains, roasted chicken, stew or soups. You can also muddle or puree some of the lemon to add brightness to a gin-and-tonic or a martini.

Make Ahead: The lemons need to be prepared at least 3 weeks before you will use them.

Storage Notes: Store the lemons refrigerated in a jar with a lid, ideally submerged, for 6 months and up to 1 year.


Servings:
4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings; makes 4 preserved lemons

Ingredients
  • 5 small, organic and preferably unwaxed lemons (about 1 pound)
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, or more as needed
  • 1 cup water, or more as needed

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Directions

Make a deep "x" incision in 4 of the lemons, leaving about 1/4-inch intact at the bottom of each fruit, so it almost opens like a flower. Pack about 1 teaspoon salt into each lemon, getting it between the sections.

Pack the salted lemons into a wide-mouth jar just large enough to hold the lemons, squishing them down with clean hands to yield as much liquid as possible. Juice the remaining lemon; you will need about 1/4 cup of juice. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water; then add the juice. Pour the brine over the lemons until they are completely submerged, then weigh the lemons down with a heavy stone or water-filled plastic bag. (If you don’t have enough liquid to cover the lemons in the jar, you can mix 1 teaspoon of salt per 1 cup of water, and add as needed.)

Cover and place in a moderately cool location, about 65 to 70 degrees. (If using a lid, be sure to "burp" the jar regularly – preferably before it shows signs of bulging. Or use cheesecloth or an airlock fermenting lid, which will allow microbe-created gas to escape while keeping outside air from entering. If using cheesecloth, you do not need to cover with lid.)

Taste the lemons after 3 weeks, and weekly thereafter, to determine readiness. They will remain a saturated yellow and will taste bright, salty and sour – including the peel.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Katherine Harmon Courage.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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