Over the past several years, I’ve enjoyed preserved lemons a number of times at Moroccan restaurants. Usually found accenting some sort tagine, this sweet, sour, salty pickle cuts through rich, heavy flavors offering a bright, lemony contrast. Made with only three ingredients, these Quick Preserved Lemons are a versatile condiment that comes together in snap (only 3 hours!). I must clarify, however, that these lemons aren’t actually preserved. The process outline below will result in a delicious relish that tastes very similar to traditional preserved lemons. Perhaps you’re thinking right now, I don’t make tagines very often (or at all), how else can I use this condiment? Preserved lemons can be used to punch up the flavor of a simply baked chicken breast or fillet of fish. Or add a spoonful to a heavier salad (farro, barley, wheat berry, etc.) to lighten the dish. Preserved lemons can also be added to stews, soups and vinaigrettes. Continue reading for the recipe.
Quick Preserved Lemons
Adapted from The New York Times.
4 unwaxed lemons (if waxed, scrub well)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Dice whole lemons (peel, pith and pulp). While dicing, pick out any seeds and discard. Place diced lemons with their juices in a bowl. Add kosher salt and sugar, tossing to combine. Transfer to a large jar and let sit for at least 3 hours at room temperature, shaking the jar a few times per hour. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Makes about 2 cups.