Fermented or Brined Lemons

Teresa_MNOctober 4, 2010

They are popular in Italy, Morocco and many other areas of the world. I made a Moroccon stew last week and it just begged for a wedge of these salty, sour treats.

Even though Meyer lemons are not in season, I'm going to try making some with regular lemons. And if it works well, I will stock on Meyer lemons when they become available. They will keep for up to a year in the fridge.

Have any of you tried making these? Or have any of you world travelers experienced them in your travels? Or in a local restaurant?

Here is a link to an article I found online. I see Alice Waters also has a recipe that is used in her restaurant. The brined lemons are just lemon and salt. The spiced lemons include cloves and other seasonings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fermented Lemons

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sffog

preserved lemons/brined lemons , i usually cut the lemons in quarters, i make them in quart ball jars, one lemon cut in quarters then sprinkle kosher salt then another lemon then salt until the jar is packed,last layer is salt cover tightly leave in cool place, here in SF in my basement after a couple of days you will see liquid beginning to collect at the bottom of the jar that's the beginning. i have used meyers and regular eureka/lisbon lemons. all good.the reason i quarter my lemons is that i usually need just half a lemon for cooking, and i snack on pieces. well i say i am testing if they are good,lol. it takes about a week or two, the lemon peel starts to look somewhat translucent and then you "test" a piece.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Teresa_MN

I can't wait! I can see myself snacking on them also. My cheeks are just puckering thinking about it!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Teresa_MN

ssfog - how do you use your preserved lemons? I'm thinking of the Moroccan stew I mentioned above. But I can also see them giving a punch of flavor to rice while it is cooking, or to fresh sliced avocado. My favorite flavors are sour and tart so I might just be trying them on everything!

Also - do you rinse them before using? I've read a number of recipes and it is pretty split - some rinse, some don't.

Thanks,
Teresa

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 10:13PM
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coconut_nj

Teresa, interesting that you would bring this up now. Just this past weekend I saw a Ina Garten show and her friend was teaching her to make a Moroccan tajine and as part of the process she taught her to make the preserved lemons. Her recipe was similar to ssfog but she baked them in the brine and then put them in jars.

Preserved Lemons

2010, Gail Arnold, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
--
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
--

Level:
--

Serves:
2 to 3 lemons

Ingredients

* 2 to 3 lemons
* 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Cut the lemons into sixths, lengthwise, sprinkle with the salt and place in a non-corrosive dish (glass is good). Cover the lemons with water and cook in the oven for 3 hours. Allow to cool and then refrigerate.

Cook's Note: The lemons can be refrigerated for up to 6 months as long as they are covered and stored in a glass canning jar.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:22PM
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Teresa_MN

Coconut - yet another way of making this condiment.

I made a quart jar and a pint jar today. They are sitting on my counter fermenting at room temp. Mine are already producing juice. Sffog said it would be a day or two. Maybe I used to much salt. I'll have to check them tomorrow.

I can't wait for the Meyer lemons to be in season. Hopefully I will have perfected one of the methods by that time.

Teresa

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:32PM
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coconut_nj

Cool Teresa, it sounds like you're in good shape. They scraped the pulp off the skin and used it in a marinade and then cut the rind up to put in the stew. That seems like a good way to use the pulp. I'm thinking a salad dressing would be good for the pulp too. I'm sure the rind would be nice in salads as well, cut thin.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:42PM
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Teresa_MN

Thanks for the suggestions Coconut. I think there are so many possibilities. I will have to try the baked ones you suggested and the ones fermented at room temp with salt, a cinn. stick, cloves and other spices.

Teresa

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:54PM
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sffog

you have juicy lemons, sounds like you are on the right track, i usually just serve them diced up as a condiment for anyone who wants them for the salad, but i also cut up roast chicken and sprinkle some on,for this i cut them in strips i don't rinse them, since i have lemons growing all year i don't make a lot at once, when there is in one more in the jar i make more
coconut-nj, i have to try that baking method.
some of my friends put the jars of salted lemon in the sun to brine (I don"t)i wonder if the oven substitutes for the sun heating, hummm, gotta go i'm salivating with all this lemon talk.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Teresa_MN

sffog - I opened the jars and smelled them this morning. OMG! My mouth puckered! Lots more juice this morning. I can't wait till I can squeeze them on the tomatoes I am still picking. Salty and tart tomatoes - YUM.

I'm so jealous that you can grow lemons year round!

Teresa

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 1:05PM
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dcarch7

Posted by coconut-nj " Teresa, interesting that you would bring this up now. Just this past weekend I saw a Ina Garten show and her friend was teaching her to make a Moroccan tajine and as part of the process she taught her to make the preserved lemons. --"

I think I saw the same show. I thought interesting that only salt and herbs were added.

Lime is on sale, 10 for a dollar. I wonderful if I can use lime instead?

dcarch

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 11:57PM
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coconut_nj

dcarch, I don't see why you couldn't use limes. I think just quartering those would be plenty of surface.

I can barely keep myself in lemons for other dishes these days or I'd join in the fun. Or if I had 10 for $1 limes. Smiles.

Yes, ssfog, I'd think the sun would be a version of the baking/cooking option.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:24AM
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dcarch7

I will give it a try.

For some reason, I have always like lime better than lemon, the green turns me on.

I don't understand why lemon always gets the limelight. :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 7:51AM
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Teresa_MN

I found two different cooking blogs where the lemons were discussed. People asked about using limes and oranges. It sounds like either would work. One recipe called for pouring in fresh squeezed lemon juice over the lemons and salt.

Sffog - you just use the lemons and salt - right? Mine are already making enough juice on their own.

I'll bet the oranges would work well with the spices (cloves, cinnamon stick etc.)

This morning my lemons are looking translucent. One of the blogs mentioned this. The other blog said it would take 30 days at room temperature. Mine smell so good I don't think they will last that long! (grin)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:16AM
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cloudy_christine

Preserved lemons have a completely different taste.
I made some years ago, according to Paula Wolfert's recipe, and was all excited about making her Moroccan dishes.
I discovered that the taste of preserved lemons not for me.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:43AM
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sffog

teresa mn , i think you should "test" a piece,lol if you haven't, you have better will power than me.I tend to "test" all the time, enjoy

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Teresa_MN

I squeezed on on some jasmine rice this morning. YUM! These are going to be addicting.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 12:06PM
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