One of my favorite things about owning a restaurant is educating my customers about the wonderful foods and customs Morocco has to offer. Today I want to show you how to make a common ingredient to the Moroccan kitchen, preserved lemons.
You will need:
8-12 thin-skinned, new-season lemons that have not been waxed, plus 2 extra lemons
Prepare the storage jar:
Preheat the oven to 235 degrees F. Wash the jar and lid in hot soapy water. Place the jar in the oven for 20 minutes, or until fully dry.
Prepare the lemons:
Cut lemons from the stem end into quarters, almost to the base. Insert 1 tablespoon of salt into each lemon, close it, and place in jar. Repeat with each lemons and pack the lemons into the jar as tightly as possible. Continue salting and packing lemons until the jar is filled. Add juice from the 2 extra lemons to the jar, until the top layer of the salt-stuffed lemons is completely submerged.
Seal and store in a cool, dark place for at least 4 weeks. Lemons will keep for 6 months or more. Once the jar is opened, store in the refrigerator.
How and where to use preserved lemons:
The zest of preserved lemons has several times the intensity of fresh lemon zest, so used sparingly, it can really punch up the flavor of your dishes. To use it, peel the rind away from the fruit, rinse off any excess salt, and finely chop the peel. Try it sprinkled on a salad or as a garnish on a finished dish, or mix it into salad dressings, sauces, or marinades. Preserved lemon is also delicious mixed into yogurt, sprinkled over cous cous, or simmered into a comforting soup.
Come into Kous Kous today to try preserved lemon in many of our signature menu items, including our delicious tajine dishes!
I hope you enjoy bringing this little bit of Morocco into your home!
To learn more about Moroccan cooking, sign up for an upcoming live cooking demonstration with Chef Moumen!