Saturday, 19 July 2014

Moroccan Preserved Lemons

“Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.”
~Pablo Neruda

Moroccan Preserved Lemons
12 Meyer lemons
Kosher salt
lemon juice concentrate
Wash the lemons thoroughly. Hold them over a plate to catch the juice and make four deep cuts in the lemons lengthwise, evenly spaced around the lemon, effectively dividing it into four sections attached at the ends. Keep the lemons whole.  Pack the cuts generously with salt. Put a couple of tablespoons of salt in the bottom of a jar and pack the lemons in layers, sprinkling a thin layer of salt between each layer of lemons. Push the lemons down firmly to pack them tightly and to help express some of their juice. Finish with a final layer of salt. Pour any juices that collected on the plate when the lemons were cut. Cover the jar tightly. Leave at room temperature for a few days, monitoring the level of liquid in the jar. The lemons should be submerged in juice after a few days. If they are not, add some lemon juice concentrate to the jar. Top off jar with a little extra virgin olive oil. Cover tightly with lid. The lemons will be ready to eat in a few weeks and will keep for up to a year in the refrigerator.

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