Preserved Lemons

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Preserved lemons are a condiment that is common in North African cuisine, and especially Moroccan cuisine. Diced, quartered, halved, or whole lemons are pickled in lemon juice, and salt.

The pickle is allowed to ferment at room temperature for weeks or months before it is used. The pulp of the preserved lemon can be used in stews and sauces, but it is the peel that is most widely used. The flavor is mildly tart but intensely lemony.

Ingredients

  • 6 unwaxed lemons
  • 6 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • juice of 6 lemons
  • olive oil

Method

  1. First get a jar just large enough to accommodate all the lemons tightly.
  2. Now sterilize it, by filling it up with boiling water, leave for a minute and then empty it. Allow it to dry out naturally without wiping it so it remains sterilized.
  3. Wash the lemons and cut a deep cross all the way from the top to 2cm from the base.
  4. Stuff each lemon with a tablespoon of salt and place in the jar.
  5. Push the lemons in tightly so they are all squeezed together well.
  6. Seal the jar and leave for at least a week.
  7. After a week, remove the lid and press the lemons as hard as you can to squeeze as much of the juice out of them as possible.
  8. Add the rosemary and lemon juice and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.
  9. Seal the jar and leave in a cool place for at least a month.
  10. The longer you leave them, the better the flavour.

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