Preserved lemons are a traditional ingredient in Northern African cuisine and are used extensively in Moroccan cooking. They are sour, salty and a little sweet adding a wonderful burst of flavor.
Not only are preserved lemons flavorful, but, lemons in general, are a great addition to your winter diet. They contain immune-boosting vitamin C that helps fight infection (add to bone broth or chicken soup), and the citric acid aids digestion.
Sour is the taste associated with the Liver in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Instead of doing a harsh liver cleanse, eat a whole food, clean diet and add lemon to cleanse your system of the heavy food and drink ingested during the holiday season.
Traditionally, preserved lemons are cured for 1 to 3 months. Spring is the time to nourish the Liver so this would be the perfect time to start a batch.
Since I indulged over the holidays, I didn’t want to wait for spring. I tried this quick preserving method based on a recipe from Alton Brown EveryDayCook.
You will need 5 whole lemons, scrubbed and dried and course sea salt.
I did not have the sea salt so I used Himalayan pink salt.
Slice off the top and bottom of 4 of the lemons and then cut each into 8 wedges, removing any seeds. Leave one lemon for juice.
Put one set of 8 wedges in the bottom of a wide mouth jar and layer with salt. Don’t worry about being heavy-handed with the salt. You will wash it off before using.
Continue with the other three lemons, layering each set of 8 with salt and packing it tightly into the jar.
Juice the 5th lemon and cover the wedges. Be sure to leave about a 1/4″ between the top of the jar and the lemons.
Refrigerate for 4 days, flip the jar and age another 4 days. You will know when it is ready when the peel is soft.
Once you have a soft peel, you can use right away, or age for 1 to 3 months.
I’ll let you know my results in about 8 days. Please share yours as well!
Brown, A. (2016). Alton Brown: EveryDayCook. Random House Publishing Group.