Salted Sunshine in a Jar
by Terri Donsker
Today, a soft blanket of snow is collecting outside; but my kitchen is fragrant with the sweet, pungent smell of fresh lemons. I am trying out a new recipe: Moroccan preserved lemons. Salt and sunshine in a jar, these little treasures will add spark to my table for months to come.
And so EASY: Here’s how:
Carefully clean a 1 quart or 2 pint-sized canning jars. Have the lids and rings at the ready.
6 Lemons for the jars
6 Lemons for juice—to make ½-1 cup yield
¾ cup coarse kosher salt
- Scrub lemons with a vegetable brush and dry thoroughly.
- Pour salt into a mixing bowl.
- Prepare the lemons: cut the very tip of the stem off. Then stand each on its stem and slice almost in half (leaving 1 inch uncut) and then turn the lemon and slice in half again. So now you have quartered the lemon…..almost.
Place a lemon in the bowl with the salt and open up the halves. Scoop salt into the lemon very generously ( 2 T of salt per lemon).
- Place the lemon in the jar, cut side up. Pack three lemons into the pint jar, 6 into the quart.
- Screw the jars shut. Pour yourself a glass of wine.
- After having left the jars on the counter overnight, you will find the lemons have softened. Now you can open the jars and add another lemon if you wish. Then juice the remaining lemons and add to the jars, completely covering the fruit.
- Now, re-seal the jars, tightening only by hand. Store the jars in a dark room—not the refrigerator—for at least three weeks. Then, you may open a jar and taste. WOW! To use in a typical Moroccan tagine, remove the flesh and add the rind to simmer with the other ingredients, (or they can be used whole).
- Lemons can cure for several months.
Image 1: Moroccan preserved lemon & olive chicken tagine; www.eatyourbooks.com
Image 2: www.closetcooking.com
Image 3: Excerpted from Mourad: New Moroccan by Mourad Lahlou