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5 minute DIY: Preserved Meyer lemons

Posted by Melissa Massello  March 28, 2013 03:00 PM

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5-minute-DIY-preserved-lemons.jpg Right while the Northeast is in the grips of winter, little orbs of sunshine start arriving from California and Florida. Fragrant Meyer lemons, a hybrid of a lemon and a tangerine, are a welcome burst of Vitamin C during the cold season. If you're wondering what to do with these slightly sweet fruits, just 5 minutes of hands-on effort results in a jar of salty, savory citrus that add a pinch of umami to any dish.

Preserved lemons are a great intro to putting up produce, because there's practically no way to mess it up. There's not even any water bath processing to do! Through the magic of acid and salt, the lemons ferment nearly on their own, and with a measly 5 minutes of work.

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Preserved lemons are used traditionally in North African cuisine, like tagines. But that's not your only option for these beauts. I add the chopped up rind to chicken, tuna, or chickpea salad, sprinkled in hummus or savory yogurt dips, added to roasted vegetables or grilled fish, and mixed into stews. Really, anywhere you would use citrus and salt, you can add preserved lemons.

If you don't have Meyer lemons on hand, you can use regular lemons or even limes.

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PRESERVED MEYER LEMONS

You'll need:
• A sterilized jar (boil it or run it through your dishwasher on the sterilize setting)
• Meyer lemons
• Kosher salt
• Extra lemon juice (if needed)

Cover the bottom of your jar in a layer of salt.

Wash and scrub your lemons and dry thoroughly. Cut the stem off of a lemon, and then cut an "X" in that end, making sure to not go all the way through.

Pry the quarters apart to open like a flower and sprinkle salt on the flesh of the lemon. Place the lemon skin side up in the jar and press down, squeezing out the juice. Sprinkle a layer of salt on top of the lemon.

Repeat this process with remaining lemons until jar is full. If lemons are not completely submerged in juice, add additional juice to the jar. Cover and leave on the counter for 3 days, turning the jar upside down every other day.

Move jar to the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks, and continue to flip the jar ever other day. The lemons are done when the rinds are soft.

To use, rinse thoroughly under cold water. Remove and discard the flesh, and chop the rind finely. A little goes a long way!

Have you ever cooked with preserved lemons? Tell us in the comments or tweet us at @DIYBoston!

~Tara

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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