“Sounds wonderful, but what would I do with them?” asked a colleague. “Make green rice” I replied.
Preserved lemons are exactly that. Sun ripened lemony goodness preserved in salt. Preserved rind is all soft and squishy like marmalade. And delicious.
We use it for Mediterranean cooking, it works well with Moroccan flavours… and green rice. I’d better add that green rice recipe next 🙂
The bum deal about preserved lemons is it normally takes 3 months of preserving before they are ready to use. Until now. .
Lemons. Preferably perfect sun ripened golden unblemished fruit. Organic. Washed.
Rock Salt – a little bag of.
Take your ripe sunny lemon and thinly slice off one end so it’s flat. Sit it on it’s flat end and slice it into wedges BUT without cutting through the bottom. See pic. Don’t worry about pips unless it rages your inner OCD.
Push your lemon flowers back into a lemon shape and place them in a ziplock bag. Pop them in the freezer and freeze for 24 hours. I forgot about my last batch and they chilled away for a week without a problem.
Take the frozen lemons out and let them thaw on the bench.
Once thawed, put them one by one into a bowl. Press the salt into the lemon wedges, just use handfuls, it will all drop into the bowl along with the lemon juice.
Push the salted lemon bombs into a CLEAN jar. Preferably one that’s just survived a dishwasher cycle and is still hot. You can be brutal. Push until there is no air and the juice squishes out. Stack them on top of eachother and squash them down some more.
Once full, top the jar up with the lemon juice/salt mix from your prep bowl. Try not to leave any air at the top of the jar. I use a glad wrap gasket over the top to ensure air tightness. Label the top with a ready to use date of a month’s time from when you put them in the jar.
I shove mine to the back of the fridge and forget about them. They last for at least six months. I have none that have survived longer than that – green rice is delicious!
Take a wedge or as much as you need from the jar. Push the others down under the juice and reseal.
Discard the pulp and wash briefly in cold water. If you like things salty, leave a little salty goo on the rind. Chop finely and add to food that requires out of season lemonyness.