I have a lovely little midwinter activity here for you, in preparation for some Moroccan recipes coming up in March. I always keep a container of preserved lemons in the fridge. They add an amazing bright fresh note to dishes. This recipe is very simple, and fills your kitchen with the sunny smell of fresh lemons as you work. Since the kumquats were calling to me at the store, I am layering in kumquats between the lemons. As I was researching this post I found that salted/preserved kumquats are an Asian household remedy for a sore throat! Between the salt and the citrus I would imagine it works like a charm.
Preserved Lemons, Makes One Quart
One bag of Meyer lemons (typically 5-6)
One small container of fresh kumquats (optional)
1-1/2 c. kosher salt
Wash all the fruit and dry it thoroughly. Slice each fruit into sections lengthwise and remove the seeds.
Wash and dry a quart size canning jar, lid and ring. Squeeze the lemon juice from each lemon slice into the jar. You don’t have to wring them out completely, just get most of the juice into the jar.
Add a layer of the squeezed lemon slices and cover them with a tablespoon of salt. Add a layer of kumquats on top of the lemons and cover them with a tablespoon of salt.
Continue layering until the jar is full. If you don’t have quite enough lemon juice to fill the jar to the top and cover the fruit you can add a little water to make up the difference. Pack the fruit down so it’s below the juice.
Screw on the lid and store the jar at the back of your refrigerator. Over the next two months the fruit will completely soften in the brine. We’ll be chopping it up to add to tagines and some other lovely dishes. You could also pack the fruit into pint size jars for beautiful hostess gifts.