A squeeze of lemon will brighten any dish. But chewing on the peel? Sounds crazy, I know. I recently fell in love with preserved lemons because they pack all the lemony goodness, without the pucker-inducing tart.
Preserving lemons extracts the lemon juice and softens the peel, which you can then cut into tiny pieces and use to flavor dishes just as you would salt.
I like to toss preserved lemon peel into a light pasta, sprinkle on white fish, combine with roasted Brussels sprouts, or even cut into thicker strips and serve on a cheese platter alongside olives (a favorite lazy dinner…).
Preserved lemons are easy to make, but take a little time, so don’t try this right before you need them. Keep a jar on hand so you can add a flavorful, healthy kick to any meal.
(I haven’t been able to test it, but legend has it the jar will last till the cows come home.)
Hit play below for a quick DIY tutorial!
Food La La Recipe: Preserved Lemons
- 8 organic, whole lemons (WHY? #1)
- Kosher salt
- Clean, dry glass jar with lid
- Trim the ends of five lemons, then cut each lengthwise into quarters, being careful not to slice through to the bottom (the quarters should still be attached to the base).
- Juice the remaining three lemons.
- Rub a generous amount of salt on the inside of the five quartered lemons, then stuff into a jar. Press down with a muddler to push them in further. This will also help extract more juice.
- Sprinkle 1 TBS of salt on top, then pour the lemon juice over. If the jar is not filled with lemon juice, add more. (WHY? #2)
- Seal jar and store in cool, dry place for 3-4 weeks, shaking occasionally to distribute the salt (once the peel is translucent, they are ready to use).
- To use lemon, remove a quarter and rinse away salt. Remove fruit and pith (the white part) and discard (it will be mushy and overly salty).
- Cut peel into thin strips, then cut strips into a small dice.
Psst! A few recipe notes:
- WHY #1?: It’s really important to buy high quality, organic lemons because you’ll be eating the peel.
- WHY #2?: If the lemons are not completely covered with liquid, a mold can form on top. You can remove the mold and add more lemon juice, but it’s best to not let it form.
- Note: As long as the lemons are covered in juice, they’ll last on your counter for over a year. However, you may store in refrigerator if you prefer.
- Note: You may use sea salt instead of kosher salt but do not use table salt (the chemicals are too harsh)
- Note: This same method works for limes and oranges, too.