Processing lemons in a brine removes their bitterness and turns them into lemony flavor powerhouses. Featured heavily in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine, preserved lemons add an intense and delightful tangy flavor to many dishes including salads, stews and sauces. This recipe is for lemons, but limes can be preserved as well and taste equally delicious.
1/2 cup sea salt
6-8 organic lemons
extra freshly squeezed lemon juice, if needed.
1 large handful of fresh herbs, such as mint, thyme, rosemary or parsley (optional)
Place 2 Tbsp salt in the bottom of a large sterilized jar.
Slice off the top of the lemons and, turned on its bottom, quarter them but don’t cut all the way to through so that the quarters are still attached at the base.
Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle sea salt all over the insides and outside.
Stack the lemons in the jar, alternating with the herbs, if using, squashing them down to extract all the juices.
Fill the jar with the lemons making sure that they are submerged in lemon juice, or add additional juice if needed.
Top with a couple of tablespoons of salt.
Seal the jar and leave to sit at room temperature for 2-3 weeks, turning them upside down occasionally.
To use the lemons, remove one from the jar and rinse lightly to remove the salt. Use the lemon peel only and discard the flesh. Also, if you are not using a whole lemon, remove a quarter of the lemon and return the salty part to the jar, submerging it under the juices.
The lemons will keep in the fridge for up to 1 year.