Preserved lemons

PHOTO: SIMON LAMBERT
PHOTO: SIMON LAMBERT
There always seems to be a lot of uncertainty regarding preserving lemons and what to do with  the finished product. 
As lemons are plentiful right now it is the perfect time  to preserve them so they are ready for the summer months. 

 

Makes 2 litres

8 lemons, unwaxed

½ cup sea salt, coarse

2 litre jar, sterilised with lid

Method

Wash the lemons and pat dry. If they are waxed you may need to scrub them to remove the wax.

With each lemon, cut off any stems. Cut the lemons in half lengthwise, making sure they are still attached at the base — do not cut all the way through. Then make another cut the same way, as if you were cutting the lemons into quarters, again not all the way through.

Holding the lemon over a bowl, spoon in a teaspoon of salt to fill the opening. Place in the jar and continue with the remaining lemons. You need to squeeze as many lemons as possible into the jar. Sprinkle the leftover salt over and cover with enough lemon juice to cover the lemons.

Secure with a tight-fitting lid.

Leave the lemons to preserve for at least 4 weeks, out of direct sunlight. It is advisable to turn the jar over every so often so the salt and juices mingle.

After 4 weeks, you can start to use the lemons. You only need a little lemon rind as it is very intense. Cut off the segment you need, and put the rest back in the jar.

Seal and place in the fridge for up to a year.

To use

Remove and discard the flesh.

Rinse the rind under cold water, pat dry and use as desired.

Note: When lemons are preserved in salt and lemon juice the flavour intensifies to another level. You only use the skin, which can be added to salads, dressings, stuffed into fish, chopped into marinades and added to vegetables.

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