food for thought: got lemons?
by victoria comment

8/31/11

the other day, a gardener around the corner from my house was giving away a big sack of lemons, so naturally we grabbed ’em! just the smell of them was heaven. now normally, lemons — i’d make lemonade, but some friends had been telling me how easy it was to make preserved lemons, so i decided this morning before i started blogging i was going to do just that. i have never preserved anything before, but this was indeed, quite easy and most gratifying — i love making things like this from scratch. they’re wonderful served as a condiment with middle eastern and Moroccan meals, and grilled fishes like salmon and roasted chicken. i love these pretty weck jars for canning. here’s a look at what i did — and you can download a copy of the recipe you see below [ right here. ]

50 responses to “food for thought: got lemons?”

    • sorry guys – i’ve updated the post to explain what types of food you serve them with – they’re a condiment, like chutney, great with grilled fish and chicken.

  1. Yes they’re fab! You can slice them and have them with roast chicken, at least that’s how i had them when my aunt did it, but I think you can chop them up and sprinkle them over fresh steamed veg or fish parcels or anything like that. When I tried it was a big ol’ fail- the old preserving jars I used (same as the ones above!) completely rusted over with the salt- ruining both preserved lemon dreams and antique jar. Hope yours don’t do the same! (Those flip top French jars with the wire clips might work better…)

    • They are used a lot in middle eastern cooking. Used in Tagine’s. I use them in a number of dishes. I bottle them the middle Eastern way, slightly different to this, the lemon is kept whole but sliced in quarters just before the end of the lemon you stop, so it is still kept together. Salt pushed into lemons and more around the lemons in the bottle. Then I use some more lemon juice and boiling water. You can add a chilie, bay leaf, pepper corns or coriander. Anything you like. Mine keeps in the pantry. Use the rind, discard the pulp unless using a whole one in a chicken. Many uses, give them a try :)

  2. For your blogger who asked with what you can use them for- you can use them in Moroccan cooking! Moroccan cooking calls for them in salads and Tagine cooking! I love the lay-out here and lemon is my favorite scent in the whole world.

  3. Gorgeous pics! I don’t cook anything and now you’ve inspired me to make this so I can put over fish or chicken. It’s so pretty that it may help me eat healthier! Question, what kind of jars to buy and where? Anyone?

  4. What a beautifully designed post! I just made lemon curd for the first time so I am alllll about all things lovely and lemon right now.

    XO – Hilary

  5. Thank you for the explanation. I’m going to Whole Foods today to get Meyer lemons! I agree with Cathy Jean about lemons being the Best aroma around – also, the zest makes many dishes so much better.

  6. I love preserved lemons! Recently I moved to an area that has a high percentage of Armenian people – and have been trying some of the wonderful ingredients at our local independently owned grocery stores. I find that taking a small amount of the preserved lemons (have never made my own – yet), both skin and flesh – smoosh it real good & use it in my olive oil based salad dressing. Wonderful addition!!

    Thanks for posting this – can’t wait to try it. Also, if you ever get a chance to try the sweet lemons imported from some of the Middle Eastern countries – they are amazing, too.

  7. and, an update – these came out DELICIOUS! they were ready to eat this week, and i tried them with grilled salmon and green beans and roasted pototoes and ate the lemons as kind of a relish on the side – yum!

  8. These are made traditionally in India. After a period of time, spices (turmeric/chili powder/fenugreek) and a little oil can be added. They are eaten as you would a pickle. In fact, they are called pickled lemon. Can be done with limes, as well.

  9. Have tried these a few times and suspect that I didn’t use as much salt as you suggest. That might well be the solution. Thanks!

    As an aside, I don’t get this: kosher salt? If you are a good jew you’d use kosher salt anyway. If you’re not a jew, then so what? Who cares? Just curious.

  10. Just found this floating around pinterest today – I’m going to try it! I have an old “french” type jar if I can get a new seal for it – next time lemons are inexpensive I’m there! Also looked at the weck jars – maybe try them? They look nice.

  11. If ur having trouble w/ jar lids rusting, google plastic screw on lids for canning jars- I bought some at the grocery last year, made by ball. Tattle also makes a bpa free canning lid/ gasket set that would probably work great as well.

  12. I add a little atjar masala in between lemons – looks pretty and tastes awesome. I eat them on their own too – once I have had one, I am hooked and go back for more!.

  13. I make these all the time. They are so easy to make and beautiful on yours shelves. Only a true gardener can appreciate that last sentence. You ask what you can do with them. I cut the peel into strips and sprinkle over salad. Also add them to Fresh Chicken salad and Tuna salad. Also toss peel strips with fresh rosemary, fresh cracked black pepper and tiny halved potatoes with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 2 Tablespoons of the liquid from the lemons. then roast in hot oven. Awesome! You can do this same method using a fresh organic chicken. You can actually do this with the chicken and the last 20 minutes add the potatoes. Serve with green beans and cold deviled eggs.

  14. I think it’s time I made some!! It sounds delish on fish…my mouth is watering!! I just love your photos, they’re so crisp and homey. Makes me want to pick up my camera again!

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