Overnight Preserved Lemons

Over the years I’ve had at least three of my foodie friends wax poetic about preserved lemons.  

“But what do you DO with them?” I would always ask.

Invariably, the reply was “Oh, you can put them in EVERYTHING.”

This is silly, because if you’ve never used preserved lemons, not only do you not put them in everything, as far as you’re concerned, they go into exactly nothing.  And just because I can come up with a few ideas of what might go well with brined lemons, that doesn’t mean I know HOW to use them.  

But eventually, my friends wore me down.  Also, one of them lent me Diane Rossen Worthington’s Seriously Simple, which has a recipe for preserved lemons that you can make overnight.  Typically, preserving lemons is a month-long process, where you pack lemons in salt, and over time, they lose some of their juice and the rinds go soft.  Worthington has worked out that if you add some extra lemon juice, and freeze then thaw the lemons, you accomplish very much the same rind-softening effects without having to have prepared a month ahead.  Genius!

(A quick aside on Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks.  Usually, when I first read a recipe, I mentally eliminate ingredients and processes that make the recipe take longer than absolutely necessary.  With Seriously Simple, it is truly impossible to make the recipes any easier.  The recipes rely on excellent ingredients and flawless execution, but come together ridiculously quickly.  This makes this book a must-have in my kitchen.  Yours too.)

I served my preserved lemons minced and sprinkled over baked fish.

Overnight Preserved Lemons (from Seriously Simple)

Scrub and quarter three lemons.  Juice three more.
Add the quartered lemons to a large plastic bag, and fill the bag with kosher salt to cover the lemons.  Pour in the juice.
Freeze overnight.  Thaw before use.  Pack any unused lemons into a jar and keep in the refrigerator.  They will keep for 6 months.


About christianathomas

I'm a working mother of two trying to make eating well fit into our hectic lives. I also used to own a completely chaotic bakery. Follow me for tips and tricks on how to get more whole foods into your diet.
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