Many of our Moroccan and Mediterranean recipes require preserved lemons. We have purchased jars of them at specialty grocery stores but finally got around to making our own and have now done so on multiple occasions. Used at first specifically for the aforementioned recipes, such as Chicken Tagine with Olives or Moroccan Lamb Stew, we have now started making up uses for them.
The tart salty tang of the lemons lifts the flavors of just about any meat, chicken or fish dish. Try putting them on top of and inside a roast chicken. Put a few slices on top of trout, flounder or any other poached or baked fish. Dice them finely and add them to a vinaigrette or toss them in with roasted vegetables. Great in marinades. Perfect for the grill.
They are a wonderful addition to your kitchen toolkit and, just like those magic rocks, fun to watch until ready to use.
from Mediterranean Cook by Paul Gaylor
6 organic lemons
1 1/2 cups coarse sea salt or kosher salt
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
15 allspice berries
15 coriander seeds
5 whole star anise
1. Rinse and quarter lemons, cutting to within 1/2 inch of the base.
2. Measure 1 1/2 cups of coarse sea salt and pack some into the center of each lemon, then press the lemon to reform its shape.
3. Sterilize a 4 1/2 cup preserving jar and fill with half of the remaining salt. Pack the lemons in tightly. Regarding the preserving jar, we have used the stoneware jar pictured as well as clear glass canning jars.
4. Add 3 bay leaves. Mix the remaining salt with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 15 allspice berries, 15 coriander seeds, and 5 whole star anise. Sprinkle this over the lemons. Add the juice of 6 more lemons and top off with water if necessary to cover. Seal and store for one month, turning the jar daily. After one month, store unused lemons in the refrigerator.