PRESERVATION IN SALT: Moroccan Salted Lemons

The lemon trees are abundantly full in my backyard so its time to preserve some for the year, I’ll start with Moroccan Preserved Lemons.

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Ingredients and equipment assembled: spices, salt, lemons, knife, and clean jars

Salt preserved lemons have become a staple in many chefs’ kitchens around the globe, as well as home kitchens.  the salt preserving process gives them a deep flavor that packs a wallop of citrusy salty bang to make final dishes sing.

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Cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, black pepper, coriander, Clive, star anise, alleppo pepper flakes, and bay leaf all enhance the flavor when in small proportions
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lemons are washed and blemishes removed, then cut in almost in half…
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and then quartered, but not all the way through, leave a 1/2′ stem to hold it all together
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see how it holds together at the base

One of my very favorite cookbook writers is Paula Wolfert, her cookbooks have changed my way of composing meals.  In one book her chapter titles are not your standard cookbook chapters on meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, dessert, etc. but rather Garlic, Eggplants and Peppers and tomatoes, etc.  Meats and proteins are used as another ingredient, not the central organizing principle of your meal.

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next, salt is poured into the lemons as…
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they are packed one by one not the jar, squished to bring out their juice. What a fun mess!
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don’t forget to add the spices and herbs as you go

A healthy Meyer lemon tree in the Bay Area produces abundantly, enough to both share with neighbors as well as put up preservation projects that will fuel your cooking throughout the year.  This pantry staple, Moroccan salt preserved lemons, The process is simple yet produces a deep intense lemony flavor that should be e on hand in your larder.  My recipe is an adaption of Paula Wolfert’s Moroccan Preserved Lemon recipe and has been influenced by other chefs I have worked with over the years.

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or, use a larger jar…
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I put the spices in at the bottom the time
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fun, lemony, salty goodness
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almost a tablespoon goes into each one
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squishy, squishy to get the juices flowing
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finished jar with enough lemon juice to cover, goes in the fridge, but could also stay on the counter if treated properly

how do you make your preserved lemons? let me know in the comments below.

Seth Peterson

apermaculturechef.com

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