Add a depth of flavour to your dishes with this quick and easy guide on preserving lemons.
Preserved lemons are a staple in most Middle Eastern cuisine and for good reason! They have a fermented quality that regular lemons don’t have and add a welcome umami flavour to any dish.
Better still, preserving lemons couldn’t be any easier! All it takes is a pile of lemons, salt and a few large mason jars.
1. Firstly, it’s important to sterilise your equipment to avoid unwanted bacteria taking hold, so rinse your mason jars and any kitchen utensils like knives and chopping boards in boiling water.
2. Next, scrub a pile of lemons (enough to fill your jars tightly) under running water. Once dry, cut the tips off the ends of the lemons then cut each lemon into quarters lengthwise, leaving them attached at one end.
3. Gently wedge the lemons apart without breaking and fill them with a generous amount of salt.
4. Pack your lemons in your mason jar as tightly as possible.
5. When the mason jar is full, cover the lemons with freshly squeezed lemon juice until there is 1cm of juice covering the top of the lemons.
6. Seal the jars and set aside for 3 to 4 weeks in a cool, dry area until the lemon rinds become soft. If you notice the juice has dropped below the top lemons, simply top it up with lemon juice.
7. Once the lemons are ready, remove from the jar and add to your dish when cooking.