Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Moroccan (or preserved) lemon

Have you every tried Moroccan lemon? They are divine and great to add some taste to fish, poultry or veggies.
Back when I lived in Melbourne I prepared a jar of Moroccan lemons, also known as preserved lemon, but never actually got to taste them as I had to pack up my stuff and move back to Germany before they had sat long enough in their juices.
Anyway, I gave it another go when I found some nice looking, untreated, thick-skinned lemons at my local market.
Making these is easy and they also make a nice gift.

All you need is...
- a preserve jar
- rock salt
- lemons (of course!) I think I used about 5 for a medium-sized jar
- a cinnamon stick
- a garlic clove
- bayleaf

Cut lemons in quarters and roll each quarter in rock salt. Squeeze the lemons into the preserve jar and continue packing them tightly. Add a layer of salt in between the layers of lemons. Put the cinnamon stick, garlic clove and bayleaf between the lemons and continue packing and squeezing until the jar is full of salty lemon juice and tightly packed lemons.
If need be, add juice of one more lemon or some hot water to top it up so that all lemons are covered in juice. Close the lid.

Now the waiting begins... you have to leave the lemons for at least two months before you can use them, you can turn the jar over a few times in between so the salt doesn't just sink to the bottom (but make sure it's properly sealed!!!).

Once the wait is over, open the jar and smell the lemons! They smell soo intense and especially in winter they take you back to warm and exotic summer nights.
To use them, just take out a quarter and get rid of the flesh, all you want is the lemon peel.
You can dice or slice the peel and add it to your dishes for some extra flavour!

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