Moroccan Preserved Lemons

Moroccan lemons are perhaps one of the simplest preserves to make, yet are delicious and very versatile. We use these Moroccan preserved lemons almost every day, as a salad topping. They’re also great sprinkled over many dishes, from salad to Osso Bucco to grilled chicken.

To use the lemons, remove a wedge from the brine, rinse it briefly, and then with knife separate the peel. Discard the fruit — it’s the peel you’re after. Mince the peel as finely as you can, and then sprinkle it over any dish to add a salty, lemony kick to it.

Once you’ve eaten all the lemons, you’ll be left with a jar of  lemony brine that can be re-used for the next batch of lemons.  Or, try adding a dash of it to salad dressings or marinades.

To make preserved lemons, cut lemons lengthwise into 6 wedges each, by first cutting the lemons in half, then cutting each half into thirds. Pack the lemons into jars as tightly as you can.

Prepare a strong brine by dissolving salt into warm water. The exact ratio of salt isn’t important – I’ve used anything from 10% brine to maximum brine, and the lemons always turn out great. Cover the lemons in brine, seal the jars and leave them out at room temperature for about 5 days. Then, refrigerate. The lemons should be usable after about two weeks, and keep pretty much indefinitely.

I love the way rows of mason jars with preserves look on the kitchen window sill.

Moroccan Lemons

Slice lemons, pack into mason jars and cover with brine. Let rest at room temperature for 5 days, then refrigerate. Wait at least 2 weeks before using. To use, discard the fruit, mince the peel and use it to garnish salads, or anything else.  A spoonful of the lemony brine makes a nice addition to salad dressings.

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