Preserved Lemons

An essential ingredient in North African, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisines, this powerful condiment adds brightness and complex tang to a variety of dishes. Once you start using them, you’ll find yourself adding them to salad dressings, sauces, even pound cakes. Use organic lemons, and do rinse them under warm water to remove their waxy exteriors. Any type of lemon works well. If you have Meyer lemons, their thin skins and sweeter flavor will yield wonderful results. You can also add other flavorings, such as bay leaves, chile peppers, cardamom, or anise seed. Play with your favorites, or none at all. In my world, a handful of peppercorns is all I need to add a bit of depth to this sensational condiment. I use a 32-ounce wide-mouthed jar that fits the whole batch, but you can distribute them among smaller jars, too. Makes one 32-ounce jar 7 to 10 lemons …

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