Moroccan Preserved Lemons
Did I ever tell you guys about the time that I ate camel??? I didn't know it at the time, it was part of a meal that was served to myself and my fellow pageant sisters in Casablanca, Morocco back in 2007. I hate to say it, but it was delicious. Morocco was absolutely beautiful though and I’d love to go back one day. This actually has nothing to do with today's recipe post other than that it's a story about another food found in Morocco...
I first discovered the delightfully tasty recipe idea for Moroccan Preserved Lemons from Nirmala Nirene on her amazing former Z Living show, Nirmala's Spice World. I've been known to be pretty adventurous with food, but this was definitely a new one for me.
It's actually a really easy recipe to make, and adds a really nice new flavor dimension to your food with salty, tangy goodness. The basic recipe is just two ingredients: salt+lemons. You can make it the traditional way with the extra spices, but it's good without them as well.
Use your preserved lemons in everything from couscous to chicken. I actually liked just eating the soft preserved rinds on their own as a snack. They're not as salty as you would think they would be given that that's one of the main ingredients, but somehow the saltiness is perfectly balanced with the subdued tanginess of the lemons so it's just pure deliciousness.
Some recipes will tell you to just use the softened rinds of the preserved lemons and to discard the pulp, but that's a waste. I use the whole shebang (the resulting juice too!) and you will want to also. Read on below for the simple recipe.
About 4 lemons (Meyers work really well)
Himalayan Pink or Celtic Sea Salt (at least 4 tablespoons)
Lemon juice (this is needed if you can't squash out enough juice from the lemons you're preserving)
Optional spices: cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaves
Scrub and dry lemons.
Cut them in quarters, but not all the way through. Leave the slices attached at the bottom.
Sprinkle salt onto the bottom of a clean, sanitized mason jar.
Sprinkle salt generously into the center of the sliced lemons. Add your optional spices as well if you're using them.
Using a wooden spoon (I use the end of it) smash the lemons down into the jar, covering them with their juices. I also add a glass fermenting weight on top to make sure they stay covered.
It's important to make sure that the lemons are fully covered in juice, add additional juice if necessary.
Put the lid on the mason jar and allow the lemons to cure for at least four weeks.
Note: You can try this with other citrus fruits (lime, grapefruit) as well. Most recently I did a mix of lemons and limes and they turned out delicious! Kosher salt works too if that's all you've got-the other two mentioned above have awesome mineral content, that's why they are preferable.
Raw Vegan Kale Pesto is one way to make use of the delicious salted lemon pulp. And check out my 7 Affirmations for Fall with free Screensavers to come into the next season with plenty of peace and joy.
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