Monday, December 6, 2010
Citrus season is upon us. As with every harvest comes the time to practice the age old art of preservation. Today we "put-up" some lemons à la Morocco. The process is remarkably similar to that of making sauerkraut. The lemons are washed, and the stem nubs cut off. Then the lemons are sliced open and the crevices are filled with salt.
Next the lemons are packed tightly in a jar using a wooden spoon. The lemons are submerged by the expelled juices. An extra lemon worth of juice is poured on to make sure that the smooshed lemons stay submerged. Some people add a little olive oil on top to keep it extra sealed. All that's left to do now is let them pickle, turning the jar dally at first to weasel out any trapped air bubbles. I read on one forum post a story from a woman who kept her jar contamination free for eight years(!) sealing the confit with olive oil and always using a clean utensil to fish them out.
The culinary implications of this preserve are, needless to say, very exciting: Moroccan chicken or fish with olives and preserved lemons, dips, spreads, dressings and even drinks! We will keep you posted on what we do with our preserved lemons as the months pass and our lemons mellow.