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Pickled lemons are a great Moroccan delicacy. Pickling mellows the lemon rind of its tartness and makes the flesh more lemony! This is a very good use of lemons as they add a distinct and memorable taste to any dish. Also, they are so quick to prepare that it is possible to just make one jar at a time.
Place 3 tablespoons of salt, bay leaf and coriander seeds in the bottom of a sterilized jar.
One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way:
Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons.
Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwize, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way.
Keep the lemon attached at the base.
Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.
Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.
Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar.
Fill up the jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice.
Add more squeezed lemon juice if necessary.
Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.
Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for 5 days.
Turn the jar upside down ocassionally.
Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down ocassionally, for at least 4 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.
The lemons can be kept for 6 months in the refridgerator.
Pickled lemons have many uses but the most important thing to know is that you must always rinse the lemons before use. Once the excess salt has been removed, the lemon can be used.
Here are a few ideas…
Quarter and use in a chicken stew
Slice and cook over fish
Puree and use as the salt additive for a meal of couscous and your favourite tagine
Quarter and let dry in the sun, once dried and finely sliced they make a wonderful accompaniment to mussels, clams, and most other shellfish.
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