Preserved Lemons ~*The Recipe ReDux*~

23 Jan


This month’s The Recipe ReDux theme is “A New Ingredient for the New Year.”

Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Are you curious about nutritional yeast, fish sauce, matcha, teff – or maybe even ugli fruit? Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.

Years ago, I learned about preserved lemons from my family friend Linda. She once gave me a recipe for a quick preserved lemon and I tried to make them in college but I think something went wrong or I became impatient and/or scared. So, in 2016, I am ready to try making preserved lemons again.

But first, a little background on what I’ve been up to…

I recently started working as a clinical dietitian in acute care at a hospital and I have an hour and a half commute on the subway. Yes, it seems long, but I am enjoying the job, I love my patients, my co-workers are great, and I get to apply all that I learned (and am still learning) about medical nutrition therapy. In some ways it reminds me of my previous jobs working in restaurants because I am constantly busy and I get to talk all kinds of interesting people about food all day. Same, but very different.

Anyway, my long commutes give me a chance to catch up on all of my podcasts and radio shows. I have been following Melissa Clark’s New York Times column and videos for many years, and I always enjoy hearing her on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show.

Her most recent segment was all about infusions, and as part of the segment she talked about preserved lemons. In 2015, I continued making shrubs and I made hot sauce for my first time (both involve mixtures using vinegar and sitting on the counter for a few days), so preserved lemons seemed an approachable next step.

Preserved lemons involve packing scored lemons stuffed with kosher salt into a jar and covering with extra lemon juice. Close the jar, let it sit on the counter for about a week, shaking once or twice daily, then store in the fridge for another month (shaking here and there) and they are ready to use.

Chopped preserved lemons can be added to almost any dish. Think Mediterranean flavors, rice dishes, meats or chicken, pasta or fish and salads. Preserved lemons can be sprinkled over hummus, avocado toast, or roasted vegetables, too.  I am excited to amp up my at-home everyday cooking with preserved lemons!

Have you ever tasted or tried making preserved lemons? What do you like to do with them.

Preserved Lemons

recipe adapted from Melissa Clark and The Leonard Lopate Show

makes 1 pint

3 lemons

6 tablespoons kosher salt

juice of 3 lemons

Scrub the lemons well (I also rinsed mine in some hot water). Trim the ends/nubs off the lemons, quarter them lengthwise almost to the ends, but leaving the quarters still attached at one end. Pack the insides of the lemons with salt, about 2 tablespoons per lemon.

Pack the lemons into a clean pint-sized jar, squishing them down to the bottom. Add fresh lemon juice to cover the lemons completely.

Cover the jar and leave it on the counter for about a week, giving the jar a turn every day or so to help dissolve the salt. Let jar sit in fridge for another month, with an occasional turn or shake. Will keep refrigerated for at least a year.

To use: Take the peels of the lemon, rinse in cold water to take out some of the salt, chop and add to dishes.


4 Responses to “Preserved Lemons ~*The Recipe ReDux*~”

  1. Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN January 25, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    Looks wonderful! Do you need to sterilize the jar first?

    • figsinmybelly January 26, 2016 at 4:50 am #

      I did not sterilize my jar. I think as long as you have a clean jar to start with, you should be good. But if you want to be extra careful, you can always sterilize first.

  2. rose916 January 29, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    Love the post 😚

    • figsinmybelly January 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

      aw thanks! Have you ever made or eaten preserved lemons? I’m so excited to see how these ones turn out!

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