Preserved Lemon Confit
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Preserved lemons in salt, made with organic citrus is an indispensable pantry staple!
I have always loved food and drinks with lemon flavours but when I moved to Australia I discovered many more versatile uses of the citrus fruit. Having the privilege to live where they can grow in the backyard is something that cannot be enjoyed where I come from, in Canada. Not only can you find them fresh out here, but they are also organically grown and free from pesticides, unlike most commercial ones. I have been given bags of them to do some cooking experiments and my two favourite things to do so far if I get a lot are the cordials and the preserved lemons. Since I was introduced to these “citron confits” I have been exploring many recipes made using them. I make a little batch of jars each year because I just loooove them. The other thing I discovered is that some varieties of lemons do better than others. The Meyer lemons are “les meilleurs” (the best) as it is a very sweet and juicy type of lemon, a cross between a citron and mandarin.
Enjoying the taste of homemade preserved lemons © Bottle and Brush Studio 2020-21
So, how to prepare and use preserved lemons? Well, there are many different ways. The basic method is pretty simple, simply cut wedges of organic lemon and squish them into a jar with salt and plenty of lemon juice to cover it all. The rinds will soften and cure for weeks stored in cool dark place, before being ready to use. They are usually ready by spring if you make them in winter during the citrus season. They can be made with other sorts of citrus and you can add some spices and bay leaves in the jar as well. In a recipe, you only need a wedge or two (or more depending on the dish but too much could be very intense), keep or remove the pulp, and chop it to add to tajines (as it is a favourite condiment in Moroccan cooking) and anything else you like! I love them in marinades like this Tasty Grilled Chicken, sprinkled on fish, couscous, salads, rice, artichokes, etc. They add a savoury citrus flavour and sunny-looking colour that awakens your senses on fresh seasonal dishes.
Stay tuned for all recipes in my upcoming book(s)!