Egyptian Preserved Lemon Recipe
By Adam Elabd
Photo by Ali Donzé Photography
Preserved lemons have a bold combination of salty, sour, and bitter flavors. They make an excellent accompaniment to braised meat dishes or a flavorful addition to grain salads.
Prep: 15 minutes
Time: 2 to 4 weeks
Yield: 2 cups
In Egypt, this ferment is often made with the key lime, which has a thin skin and pickles very nicely. The larger yellow lemon is used in Morocco and added, along with green olives, to chicken tangine. Preserved lemons can be quite salty and sour, so cut them into smaller, more manageable pieces when serving on their own.
You Will Need
- 4 to 5 medium lemons (preferably Meyer or other thin-skinned variety)
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds (black seed)
- 10 saffron threads or 20 safflower threads
- 1 1-pint (500ml) jar
Photo from Adobe Stock
- Starting from the stem end, slice lemons into quarters, leaving the end of the lemon intact.
- In a small bowl, combine salt, nigella, and saffron. Over a bowl, liberally spread the salt and spice mixture on all exposed surfaces of the lemons.
- Pack lemons tightly into a 1-pint (500ml) jar, pressing down to aid in releasing the juices.
- Sprinkle any remaining salt mixture on top and screw the lid on tightly. Store at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for at least 2 weeks.
- Refrigerate after opening. Preserved lemons will keep, refrigerated, for several months.
Excerpted from Fermenting Food Step by Step, reprinted by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2015 by Adam Elabd. Photos by © Ali Donzé Photography.
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