Simple salted lemons
It’s citrus season and more than the usual suspects are showing up in the market. I try to eat local as much as I can but without a large garden and an enormous cold cellar and jar storage area, by this time of year things are getting a bit thin.
I don’t feel so bad getting citrus from far away in the US, at least it really is in season, not like those sorry excuses for tomatoes I see at the store.
Meyer Lemons are small almost sweet beauties with thin skins and lots of seeds. I’ve already made a simple syrup – (2 parts water, 2 parts sugar, .75 parts Meyer lemon juice) for the Accountant’s Lemon Drop Martini so I wanted to try something new.
Preserving lemons with salt is a simple technique that is common to cultures from Asia to Africa. Why not give them a try where you are?
*Note – use Kosher salt or sea salt, not table salt. Whatever vessel you choose, pack the lemons in tightly, you want them to release their juice for the brine. I used quart canning jars. I needed to run out and get a few more lemons to fully pack these jars.
Makes 2 quarts
Meyer Lemons -about 16 – since you’re using them peel and all try to use organic lemons
1 cup Kosher or sea salt
Up to 2 cups lemon juice if needed
- Wash the jars very well, run them through the dishwasher on sanitize cycle if you can
- Wash the lemons thoroughly
- Trim both the stem end and the blossom end of the lemons
- Slice the lemons the long way into quarters but not all the way through
- Add a tablespoon of salt to bottom of the jar
- Pack 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of salt into the cut lemons and place lemons into the jars
- Top them off with another tablespoon of salt using up to 1/2 cup salt per quart
Really pack them in!
Put lids on the jars and let them sit on the counter or cool dark place. After a day, top of jars with additional lemon juice to cover the lemons. Let them ferment for a few days up to 3 weeks, giving them a turn to redistribute the salt.
Store in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Rinse them off before using. Minced or sliced peel can be added to salad, soups, stews, chicken dishes, tangines, hummus, guacamole – anywhere you want a bright citrus / salty note these would work.
Until next time eat well and keep digging!
March 7, 2016
We sometimes have preserved lemons with a North African tagine, with which they go very well. Meyer Lemons don’t seem to be common in the UK. I see lots of people in the US writing about them, but they barely get a mention here. I wonder if we call them something different…?
March 7, 2016
I’m not sure if they are called something different Mark. I see that Tesco has carried them from time to time. They are sweet and thin skinned a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.
March 8, 2016
A great tutorial, David/ I normally make a batch of preserved lemons around the first of the year because that’s the only time I can find Meyer lemons. Too late now, though, and I’m sure I’ll regret it later in the year. Well, I bet I make some next year. 🙂
March 9, 2016
I’m just seeing them now John. Caputos has them as did Village
March 12, 2016
Interesting! I have never heard of preserving lemons this way!
March 14, 2016
I look forward to using them in a few weeks, I’ll be sure to report how it goes.