Moroccan cuisine is one of my favorite cuisines of the world (trumped only by, of course, Spanish cuisine). Moroccan cuisine uses a beautiful array of spices, pickling and herbs. However, there are some characteristic flavors that appear over and over again in Moroccan cuisine. Preserved Lemons is one them.
Historically, preserved lemons began as an affordable and practical method to keep lemons stored for a long period of time while they were not in season and grown far from Morocco. In the early 19th century (aka, the 1800’s for you non-history people), preserved lemon recipes first appeared in English, American and Indian cookbooks.
As my favorite Moroccan cookbook says, “There is no substitute for this unique Moroccan condiment.” Moroccans prefer the use of Meyer Lemons. Enjoy because it’s so easy and will be useful in many dishes from savory pastries to tagines to salads.
- 10 small Meyer Lemons (Trader Joe’s sell them 5 or 6 for $1.99 per pack)
- a spoon
- 2 small jars
Prepare your mise en place. Cut the tips of the lemons about a dime size so they sit up. Then cut a vertical cut about 3/4 of the way through the lemon. Turn in 90 degrees and cut again, leaving 4 attached quarters. Fill each cut with salt and press them all into the jar until they’re covered in their own lemon juice. Store in a cool, dry place for 4-6 weeks. When they’re ready, keep refrigerated and use for up to 6 months.
During that time buy “Cooking at the Kasbah” online and go get a tagine from CostPlus World Market for $19.99. You will be very happy you did.