Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

The distinct flavour of lemons is widely used in our cooking and palettes.
With year round access to fresh lemons, we often doesn’t consider preserving them.

The other day I came across a smoking deal for a case of lemons ?.
This was the perfect motivation to undertake preserving lemons!
Some jars, some salt and the lemons are all you really need.
Optional herbs and spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, bay leaf, rosemary or thyme can add a wonderful dimension.

Preserved lemons originate in the northwest region of Africa. They have become an indelible part of all cuisine’s bordering the Mediterranean and Middle East where they’re used to add brightness, salt, and depth to tagines and stews, dressings and sauces, and countless other dishes.

European regions in France, Spain and Italy have also adopted the flavours and styles of preserved lemon.
Lemon confit is widely used in France to flavour fish, poultry and stews or to accompany salads and sauces.

The lemons sit in a brine of water and salt fermenting at room temperature for weeks or months.
They are an excellent source of vitamin C and the process of brining adds electrolytes, is a good source of hydration!

Preserved lemons offer a plethora of ideas but at the same time inspire  fear and a “what on earth do I do with this?“ moment.

Preserved lemons are easy to use.  When using preserved lemons, wash each lemon to remove the brine. Scoop out the pulp within as it will be too salty. The skin is all that is needed to convey the flavour.

Preserved Lemons can be used in stews, with fish, fowl and meats. Chop finely and add to couscous or salad dishes. Dry and use in place of salt.

Here are some ideas to demonstrate how they can and should be eaten with absolutely everything!

  • Roasted fingerling potatoes with Preserved Lemons
  • Herbed yogurt with Preserved Lemons
  • Steak with roasted garlic and jammy Preserved Lemons
  • Orzo with fresh herbs, goat’s feta and Preserved Lemons
  • Roast chicken stuffed with Preserved Lemon stuffing
  • Brussels sprouts roasted with Harissa and Preserved Lemons
  • Guacamole with Preserved Lemons and Charmoula
  • Linguini & clams, Preserved Lemons, roasted garlic and herbs