I love to cook (with some little success). I can justify spending on things like exotic spices, an occasional expensive cut of meat and countless cooking books because I spice up our menu with something different each week. We don’t go out much, so it’s nice to have a fancy, smancy meal at home. Mostly my efforts taste great, although sometimes not so much ie I have a jar of hideous Banana Chutney I keep in the fridge to keep me humble.
A friend of mine had a risotto at Noosa last week which he said blew him away. Turns out the secret ingredient was preserved lemons. A little internet research revealed how easy they are to put together, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Grab yourself a pickle jar, work out how many lemons you can stuff in and times it by five. You’ll also need rock salt. Lots of it.
Freeze two thirds of the lemons overnight. Defrost. This will quicken the whole process by about a third, meaning you can use the lemons in two months instead of three. Sterilize the jar. Cut each defrosted lemon into quarters but don’t cut them all the way through. Pack rock salt into each almost-quartered lemon and place it into the jar. Lick fingers. Look at watch and work out if too early for Tequila shot. Once you’ve packed the lemons in, start juicing the remaining lemons into the jar until the juice covers the salted, defrosted, almost-quartered lemons. Set the jar aside in the pantry for a couple of months, giving it a bit of a turn every now and then. EASY!! You can also add a variety of things to the lemon jar to give it something extra – star anise, cinimon sticks, coriander seeds, cloves.
When using the lemons you don’t use the pulp you use the rind.