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SPICED PRESERVED LEMONS

RECIPE AND PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY edible HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

Spiced preserved lemons have a smooth texture with a salty, slightly pickled taste. The hardest part about making them is waiting for them to cure, which takes about four to five weeks. We make these in a wide-mouthed glass jar with a glass lid. This way, it’s easy to pack the lemons into the jar and no metal comes in contact with the lemon juice and salt.

INGREDIENTS:

6 small thin-skinned lemons, we recommend Meyer lemons

½ cup kosher salt

1 two-inch cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 wide-mouthed quart-size Mason jar, sterilized with a glass lid

METHOD:

1. Wash and scrub four of the lemons thoroughly. Cut them lengthwise into quarters from the tip to within ½ cup of the stem end, so the quarters stay together at one end. Juice the remaining 2 lemons.

2. Put the cut-up lemons in a large bowl with the salt and toss to coat, packing the salt into the cut edges of the lemon. Re-form them into lemon shape, and pack them tightly into the sterilized jar with any extra salt and the cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf. Pour in the lemon juice and cover the jar. Store in a cool place for 1 week, tipping the jar once a day to mix in the salt. After a week, put the jar in the refrigerator and keep for 3 more weeks before using. Rinse preserved lemons before using to remove excess salt.

TIPS:

> The lemons will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months.

> Dice the lemons and mix with a bit of their juices and olive oil for a dressing.