Last night, I decided to preserve some of the lemons I have left. Preserving lemons is pretty simple. The secret ingredient is salt. No, really - you take kosher (or sea) salt and lemons that have been scrubbed clean, and stick them in a sterilized jar... voilà! Preserved lemons!
OK, there is a bit of a process. First, cover the bottom of the jar (I would not recommend pint jars like I used - still too small) with salt.
|Helloooooo, in there!|
Confession - I did accidentally slice all the way through two of my lemons. I totally squeezed them together and pretended I didn't and then shoved them into a jar where there wasn't enough room to tell the difference anyway.
(Miss Piggy impersonation)
Once finished, shove the lemon into the jar and repeat the process, adding a layer of the salt between each layer of lemon. You may have to really truly shove at the end to get everything in. End with a final layer of salt.
|Clearly that lemon was too big.|
Got it in there anyway, like the ship in a bottle.
Regardless of the different spices that may or may not be added to the jar before sealing, once the jars are sealed, they can be left on the counter (where you can't forget them) for two or three days. Every time you go into the kitchen, give the jars a little shake. This helps spread around the salt AND get those juices flowing (it's helpful to have juicy lemons - look for lemons that are heavy for their size; that means they have a lot of juice - same goes for any citrus).
I am not completely certain what I will use these lemons in, but I'm thinking a salad would be nice as well as perhaps a fruited couscous or even add an accompaniment to fish... as well as perhaps snacking on them right out of the jar (once properly rinsed, of course).
I'm also thinking about what I could do with the brine. It will be more acidic than your run of the mill brine made with water, but I would hate to just pour it down the drain. At first I thought of having a salty dog party, but those are with grapefruit, and THOSE certainly won't fit into pint jars!
|Seriously, I think one of the best things about working with lemons is their cheery color. |
I would love seeing these on my shelves were I living in the frozen North.