What Do I Do with This: Preserved Lemons

Kieran McCourt, Weavers Way Ambler

A little background: It’s a traditional Moroccan food staple. During fermentation, the outer part of the lemon softens, so that the whole fruit becomes edible.

Most often used in: tagines, slow-cooked North African stews of spiced meat or vegetables, usually paired with green olives.

But you can also:

  • chop the rind to use in a meat rub
  • sliver or chop the rind and add to a salad, grain bowl or spring veggies
  • chop finely, grind to a paste, or process to use in an aioli, gremolata, chimichurri, or ricotta or cream cheese in a spread
  • remove the pulp and serve as part of a pickled veggies starter, side or relish
  • use some of the brine in a simple vinaigrette
  • put the inner flesh through a sieve to add salty liquid to a recipe

Adult option: Substitute lemon peel and brine for their olive counterparts in a dirty martini. or use the brined peel as the garnish for a margarita.

Make your own: You just need salt and lemon. Meyer lemons are best. Limes also work well. If you choose to do your own pickling, go with organic citrus to eliminate the possibility of chemicals interfering with the microbes during fermentation.

If a recipe already calls for lemon and salt, use preserved lemons!