Ohmygosh, have you heard the buzz? Preserved lemons are bomb.com! Like little wheels of sunshine, Preserved Lemons “bring it” to your recipes. Tart and salty, they add a special flair to your recipes. And they’re so simple to make. No need to buy them, when you can make your own.
Uses for Preserved Lemons
When you have a jar of Preserved Lemons making its magic on your counter, you’ll dream of great uses for them. Like:
They’re the magic in lemony Moroccan tagines. The classic recipe is Tagine with Melting Onions, Preserved Lemon, Saffron, and Green Olives. I’ll bet you can already imagine how great that combination is together!
Tuck preserved lemons and fresh thyme under the skin of a chicken before roasting. For that matter, add a few to your olive oil-roasted potatoes. Yum, indeed!
I love a preserved lemon wheel in my gin & tonic, for something more exotic
Take your couscous over the top! Add chopped parsley, preserved lemons, chopped almonds for a soup-ed up version
Add them to salads or the lemon oil to salad dressings for that je ne sais quoi pop! Lemon and salt in a salad really work.
If you’re roasting (or grilling) salmon (or another type of fish), add preserved lemon wheels to the top. The yummiest thing about them is that, once preserved, you can eat the whole thing! So they’re not just for decoration and imparted flavor — you can enjoy them, too!
There are so many ways to cut a lemon
I love to slice my lemons into thin wheels: I think this is a very versatile way to preserve lemons since you can use a whole pretty wheel or chop it up for a recipe. For our Moroccan Tagine starter kits, we slice the lemons into fourths lengthwise, and then into small segments. This way, we can pack a lot of pre-chopped lemons into a container, ready for use.
Some people slice up lemons into quarters lengthwise and preserve these large segments. I’ll admit, it is not my preferred method. I go for beauty and love the “wheels of sunshine.” Similarly, some people preserve lemons whole, or just make a few slits into a lemon before preserving. Again, it is not my preferred method for beauty (which is, of course, in the eye of the beholder.) Plus, they’ll take longer to preserve this way.
It is important to use organic, unwaxed lemons. You can guess why: because we’re using the whole lemon in this recipe.
A little spice may be nice
Salt is all that’s required to preserve lemons. For the yummiest of preserved lemons, you might like to mix it up a bit. I like to add a dash of sugar as well, for a preserved lemon that’s downright pop-in-your-mouth-edible. Others like to add cinnamon sticks or a little kick of cayenne or paprika. Some people even add olive oil. I’ve also seen bay leaves, coriander seeds, and peppercorns added. Once you dream up your uses, the rest will fall into place.
Macerate and store!
Let your fingers do the walking and really massage the salt into the lemons. (Beware not to have any lacerations on your fingers, or you’ll sure feel it!)
This process will release lemon juice into your work bowl: that’s great. Add in the sugar, olive oil, or any additional spices. then, pack those cuties into a Mason Jar. With wheel-sized cuts, you can make an elegant stack. Forget about them for a week or two. Every once in a while, flip the jar upside down, and then back again to right-side up. In as little as 2 weeks, you’ve got beautiful, vibrant preserved lemons. And they’ll last you, well, almost forever. They are preserved!