Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Preserved Lemons...

Today I have been preserving lemons.
It's something I have wanted to try as I have seen them in deli's and they look so nice.
I have been reading about recipies to use them in...
So decided to give them a go... It was easy... And didn't take long.
These are my two little jars. Each one took 3-4 lemons plus extra juice.

Preserving lemons softens and removes the bitterness
 of the fruits skin so it can be eaten...


6-7 juicy ripe lemons
1/4 - 1/2 cup plain or sea salt
1 cinnamon stick snapped in half
Corriander seeds
Extra lemons to make up juice
Jars - 1/2 litre or 2 1/4 litre
Put 1 teasp salt in the bottom of each jar.
Cut lemons into quarters to within 1/2 inch of the bottom so they are still joined.
Sprinkle salt on the exposed flesh. Squoosh the lemons into the jars packing down tightly
adding the spices and more salt evenly between layers.
If there is not enough juice expelled by the lemons
 to cover them all sufficiently
then add more fresh lemon juice until they are submerged.
Leave a little space at the top and seal the jar.
Leave jar in a warm place for 30 days, shaking the jar each day
to distribute the juices throughout the jar.
To use lemons, first rinse them then remove the pulp.
The lemons do not need to be refrigerated.

*In small quantities preserved lemons add a little zing to tapenades as well as a refreshing flavour to couscous, lentil or quinoa salads. The liquid from the jar can also be used in dressings
*Preserved lemons transform yoghurt or mayonnaise to be used as a dressing and finely chopped adds flavour to a tomato and coriander salsa to accompany fish.
* Add a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and finely chopped preserved lemon peel to cooked lentils or beans along with plenty of watercress or rocket. Serve with crumbled Feta.
*Make a flavoured butter by adding finely chopped preserved lemon, garlic and chives to softened butter. Spread under a chicken skin before grilling, or serve atop a piece of grilled fish. Or make like garlic bread.
*Finish any risotto with finely chopped preserved lemon along with finely chopped parsley and garlic. Use to finish a braise of beef or lamb.
*Add slivers of preserved lemons to vegetables before roasting. Or blanch and saute silverbeet, broccoli or cauliflower in olive oil with garlic then add slivers of preserved lemon and some pitted olives.
*Make a tagine of lamb or chicken by browning the meat then adding chopped onions, garlic, slivers of preserved lemon, cumin seeds, a few chopped tomatoes, fresh coriander and a little stock or water. Preserved lemons will also enliven all kinds of other casseroles.

PRESERVED LEMONS are often used in Moroccan and other North African cuisines as their cultures have a tradition of preserving lemons to obtain a citrus hit when the fruit is out of season. 
Limes and Grapefruit can be preserved in the same way. 

THE VIETNAMESE make a version called 'Chanh Muoi' either from limes or lemons. It's mostly used to produce a salty-sweet lemonade.

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