• 12 Meyer lemons
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

There’s so much you can do with preserved lemons. One google search of the term will land you a very long list of dinner ideas. And dessert ideas. And snack ideas.

You get my drift. You can do a lot with preserved lemons.

AND THEY’RE SO EASY TO DO.

I mean, can’t-mess-up-under-any-circumstances easy. And you only need three things: lemons, salt, and jars. That’s it!

No canning is required, so the process is very quick, and the lemons will keep in your refrigerator for months.

A second google search will also produce untold methods for preserving lemons. I’ve tried several variations, and always land firmly back where I started… kosher salt & lemons. The end.

Preserving lemons in salt and their own juices makes the peel very tender and tasty. Some people eat them straight out of the jar. The lemons add a real brightness to almost any recipe you can imagine, from salad dressings to roasted chicken.

This recipe calls for Meyer lemons, which are a cross between a conventional lemon and an orange, and are only available a limited time during the year (November though March). Meyers are smaller and juicer than conventional lemons. If Meyers aren’t available, you can also salt-preserve conventional lemons. But since they are larger, you’ll either need more jars, or fewer lemons. (On the other hand, the conventional lemon will give you a much lower juice yield, so you’ll probably require the extras for juicing alone.) The Meyer lemons will also cure faster (2-3 weeks for Meyers; 4 weeks for conventionals.)

So, what are you waiting for? You need to make these lemons. And when you’re finished, how about you make some of this bruschetta? Or this hummus?

You’ll be glad you did.

Instructions

*See ingredient list at top of page.

Adapted from Well-Preserved.

1. Sterilize two (1-pint), wide-mouth jars by boiling for ten minutes.

2.  With a paring knife, trim the stem end of six lemons, and cut into quarters from pole to pole.

3.  Juice the remaining six lemons. Pour juice through strainer or cheesecloth to remove seeds and any large pieces of pulp. Set aside.

4.  Divide the lemon wedges evenly between the two jars, being forceful as you put them in the jars, but not so forceful that you crush the fruit. As you go, put three tablespoons of salt into each jar, making sure the salt is evenly distributed throughout. Top each jar with one additional tablespoon of salt.

5.  Distribute the reserved juice from the other lemons between the two jars, making sure the lemon wedges are completely submerged.

6.  Slide a wooden chopstick or plastic knife down the inside of the jars to release any air bubbles. After this, you may need to add a little more juice to one or both jars. (To ensure the lemon wedges are covered.)

7.  Place lids on the jars, and let them sit on your countertop for two weeks. (Three to four weeks for regular lemons.) Turn the jars upside down every other day to be sure the salt stays evenly distributed. Over the two weeks, the lemons will become soft enough to tear, and the liquid will become syrupy. At this point, put them in the refrigerator. They will keep for at least six months.

8.  When ready to use, remove lemons from jar, remove any seeds, and rinse.