Preserved Lemons, Country Lemon or Leems are pickled lemons commonly used in the Indian and North African cuisine, it is a simple pickle where it is brined in water, lemon juice and salt. Pickling can last for months before it is used and for best results it should be left at room temperature, once ready it can be used in drinks, salads, sauces, pasta and stews such as tagines. Its intense lemony taste and mild tarty flavour gives a different dimension to any dish it is added on so use it sparingly.
Have you used this ingredient yet? If not here are some ideas on how you can use them.
- Drinks – Use them on Bloody Marys and other drinks where lemon and salt are present
- Stews – This works perfectly with any stews that need acidity that is why this is a good addition to any tagines. Works best with lamb stews as well.
- Pasta – Especially those that are seafood based, a bit of garlic some olive oil and few slices of this one will do the trick.
- Salads – Instead of lemon zest on salads why not try this one, trust me it will yield some magical results. If you don’t want them directly on your salad you can also add this on the dressing you will use.
- Marinades – For any marinades that uses some citrus or vinegar, replace it with this one again that intense lemon will give it a nice touch to any meats or seafood.
How about you do you have any tips on where to use preserved lemons?
- 8 pieces lemons, scrubbed clean + extra if needed
- ½ cup kosher salt
- Cut a cross pattern on top of the lemons up until ¾ down the whole fruit. Gently open them and making sure the quarters are still attached to each other.
- Generously sprinkle salt all over the lemons, inside and out. Do this on top of a plate so you catch any unused salt. Do it with the remaining lemons.
- Place lemons in a jar with the salt while pressing them down to extract the juices out of the lemon. Fill the jar with lemons and make sure juices cover everything, you might need extra lemon juice to do this. Top it with the excess salt from the plate then cover the jar tightly.
- Leave jar in a cupboard not the refrigerator then every couple of days turn the jar upside down to evenly mix the juices.
- After 3 weeks to a month your preserved lemons are ready for use, any unused preserved lemons at this point should be refrigerated.
- To use preserved lemons, rinse it thoroughly with water to remove the salt, remove the seeds as well.