Thursday, February 3, 2011

Preserved Lemons

I'm thoroughly enjoying the snow days this week, cozy inside, cooking up all kinds of things. I've been craving some preserved lemons, and I haven't made them in a while. They're a wonderful addition to Moroccan food, such as a chicken tagine with green olives and preserved lemons, or lamb and lentil salad with preserved lemons.

1 pound organic lemons
5 Tbs sea salt or pickling salt
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 Tbs cardamom pods

Scrub each lemon well, and cut a thin slice off each end. Make two lengthwise cuts almost all the way through the lemon, so that the quarters are still connected at one end. Pack each lemon with about 1 tablespoon salt. Pack the lemons tightly into a quart mason jar, along with the spices, pressing them to squeeze the juice out. If necessary, add more lemon juice to cover. Screw on the lid, and leave at room temperature for about 3 weeks - don't worry, they won't go bad, the acidity and salt prevent any bad stuff from growing (kind of like in pickling). Then you can store them in the refrigerator for 6 months or more.
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