Preserved Lemons with Bay Leaf, Cinnamon & Cardamom
From Preserve It!
Hands on time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 3-4 weeks
Storage time: 6-9 months
Sterilizing the jars: boiling the water plus 5 minutes of rapid boiling to sterilize or do on hot wash cycle in the dishwasher
Makes: (Ruth’s note: the book says 4 organic lemons make 1 small preserving jar. I used 2 1litre/1quart jar with the intention of getting the lemons in whole but they were too big. Thanks to a friend & fellow foodie, Simon, I quartered the lemons & stuffed them in the jars )
Ingredients: Preserve It! for 1 small jar (& my adaptation in RED for 2 large jars)
4 organic lemons (3-4 large lemons quartered lengthwise), washed
2 tbsp + 1 tsp coarse sea salt (just keep sprinkling salt over lemon segments before stuffing into the jars)
A few bay leaves plus any of the following: ½ tsp black peppercorns, 1 dried chile, a few cloves, or coriander or cumin seeds – optional (I added 3-4 cracked caradamom pods plus 1 cinnamon stick per jar)
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 additional lemons (I needed an additional 4 or so lemons…just keep adding juice until your jars are full & lemons completely covered)
1. Sterilize jars.
2. Cut two thirds of the way through each lemon length-wise with a sharp knife, then a similar cut at right angles to the last, producing 4 quarters, still attached at the base. Ruth’s note: since my lemons were too big, I cut them through completely.
3. Open each lemon out slightly and pour salt into the crevices. (I just sprinkled salt over the quarters). Pack tightly into the sterilized storage jars. (I just kept squishing quarters in). Distribute your choice of herbs & spices. Add the rest of the salt (I scooped up what was left on the cutting board) to the jar.
4. Pour the lemon juice into the filled jar and if not enough, top with boiled, cooled water. (I just kept cutting more lemons for juice).
5. Seal and leave at room temperature. The salt will form a brine. Invert the jar from time to time to distribute the salt and juice. Leave for 3-4 weeks for the lemon rinds to soften.
Use them sparingly in stews, pasta, salads, …awesome.