Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons - Preserve Them!

I am very excited to post about our latest 'themed' dinner, which we had this last weekend.  We went with a Mediterranean theme, and everything was just really darned tasty!  As a matter of fact, I think it's my favorite to date, and I can't wait to share recipes (which I will as soon as I upload photos).

In honor of our theme, I decided to make some preserved lemons.  It's one of those items that I see from time to time on a list of ingredients, but they're not easy to find, and when you do find them, they are ATROCIOUSLY expensive.  Especially considering the simplicity of the ingredients.

They do take a bit of pre-planning since they 'cure' for several days.  Which is why they didn't make it into any of the items I prepared (woeful lack of preparedness on my part ).  But I'm anxious to use them now that they're raring to go, so stay tuned...

Preserved Lemons
adapted from

6 lemons
1/2 - 2/3 cup kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from 5 to 6 additional lemons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
6 - 10 peppercorns

Blanch lemons in boiling water 5 minutes, then drain. When cool enough to handle, cut each lemon into 8 wedges, discarding seeds (do this on a plate to catch any juice). Place lemons in glass jar, alternating with kosher salt, packing tightly.

Add enough lemon juice to cover lemons. Seal jar and let lemons stand at room temperature, shaking gently once a day, for 5 days.

Add oil, bay leaves and peppercorns to jar and refrigerate.  Keeps for a year.

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