Friday, January 30, 2009
meyer lemons, preserved
I suppose preserved lemons have never really struck you as a necessary pantry item.
Well, I'm here to tell you that they are.
And when you consider that the especially sweet, perfumey Meyer lemon peaks between November and January, the urgency mounts.
A preserved lemon is essentially a lemon that becomes lusciously soft and salty after going through a brine and being packed in its own juices.
These take about 10 minutes to cure, and they last a whole year in your fridge. That's a year of being able to pull out a tender strip of Meyer lemon peel to dice and toss into whatever your heart desires. Possibilities? Couscous, croque monsieur, fish...the possibilities are endless, really. The pulp of the fruit can be a bit salty, but in certain cases it is perfect when smushed against a sieve to extract that lemony goodness. If you need convincing, come over and I'll share some of my stash...one tiny burst of lemony flavor will have you packing your own.
10 Meyer lemons
2/3 cup coarse salt
Blanch 6 lemons in boiling water for 5 minutes. Cut lemons into 4 slices and half to make 8 wedges. Discard any seeds. Toss with salt in a bowl and pack into jar.
Squeeze enough juice from remaining lemons to cover lemons and cover jar with lid. Let stand at room temperature, shaking gently once a day, 5 days. Add oil to cover completely and chill. They'll keep for a year!