Recipe: Preserved Meyer Lemons
Preserved lemons were one of those mystery ingredients to us. We loved coming across them in Moroccan tagines. Their flavor was such a surprise - intensely lemony but without the sharp acidity. These slivers of peel were soft enough to eat and had none of the pithy bitterness you would expect from biting into a lemon rind. We were enchanted, and we weren't the only ones. Once we became familiar with them, we noticed preserved lemons sneaking their way into clever cocktails, topping avocado toast and peaking out of chicken tacos. It was a secret ingredient that we had to add to our pantry shelves.
Making preserved lemons was also a surprise, because the process is so similar to making kraut or any other lacto-fermented vegetable: lemons + salt + time. And because lemons come packed with juice the brine is already started for you. For this batch we used delightfully sweet Meyer lemons, but regular lemons work great as well. Just choose the best lemons you can get. You are eating the peel, so organic / minimally-processed options are best. When your lemons are ready to eat, give them a quick rinse to get off the excess salt, cut the peel into slivers and add into any dish you want to make truly magical.
Trim the ends of the lemon and then cut an x at the top to quarter, slice down 80% of the way leaving the wedges attached at one end. Rub all cut surfaces with a generous amount of kosher salt and then reform.
Cover the bottom of your fermentation jar with 1/2 inch of salt. Pack 3-4 lemons and add a tablespoon of salt and scatter peppercorns every layer. Repeat for all lemons.
Add fermentation weight and gently press down so the lemons release their juices. pour in water, lemons should be fully submerged.
Top with lid and airlock. Let ferment at room temperature for 1-2 months.
When your lemons are ready to eat, give a quick rinse to get off the excess salt, cut the peel into slivers and add into any dish you want.
- 10-12 meyer lemons
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 cup water