A traditional Moroccan condiment used in tagines, these are easy to prepare and make a great addition to this season’s stewed dishes. Or try roasting them alongside chicken. Though they take approximately one month to preserve, seeing the bright yellow lemons in the jar cheers me everytime I see them in my cabinet. This recipe is adapted from Mourad Lahlou’s New Moroccan cookbook.
For 1 quart batch:
About 6 lemons for preserving
About 6 more lemons for juicing (approx. 2 cups lemon juice)
About ¾ cup kosher salt
Quarter lemons vertically, without cutting all the way through, ensuring the lemons are still in tact.
Holding the lemon over a bowl, pack in as much salt as you can, up to 2 tablespoons per lemon. Put the lemon in the jar and repeat with as many lemons as the jar will hold. Close the container and leave it overnight on the counter. The lemons will have softened and released some liquid. Use a clean spoon and push them down, adding another salted lemon if there is room. Pour fresh lemon juice into the jar until it is filled to the brim and the lemons are completely submerged. Put the lid on the jar and put it in a dark spot, not the refrigerator. For the next week, turn and shake the jar once a day to redistribute the salt that has settled to the bottom, adding more lemon juice if you notice the lemons are no longer submerged. Keep in dark place for one month.
In cooking, you can use only the rind, or for more flavor, the entire lemon. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way.
For those who prefer immediate gratification, you may slice a lemon and simmer it in 1/2 cup lemon juice for ten minutes with a tablespoon of kosher salt. Let cool and voila!