It has been 30 days since I prepared my lemons. Over the weekend my jars of preserved lemons were moved to the refrigerator. Before I did that I opened one of the 3 jars to check out the end results. Everything looked good. There were no signs of mold or anything so we were good to go. The rind is the star of these beauties. That’s the part that is now edible due to the preserving process. It’s up to you whether or not you want to use the flesh. It’s mushy so depending on what meal you are needing the lemon for will be a factor it this. There are many ways to use to use preserved lemons that I will list below.
I cut a small piece of the rind from one of the lemons. Sure enough, it was thoroughly preserved because the rind was soft. What I tasted was a VERY SALTY but pleasant lemony taste. It was no longer bitter. It took in all that salt I put in the jar, so I can see why you need to rinse these off before using. Again you can decide if you want to use the flesh part or just discard it. As for the rind, when you are ready to use some in a meal, take out all the slices you will need out of the jar and rinse it off REALLY GOOD under cool water. You can thinly slice it or chop up however much you need. I decided to make one of those 3 jars into a puree (the one I had already opened).
I did not rinse the salt brine off of these lemons. I just carefully took out the seeds and blended the whole lemon slices in my food processor (rind and all). The result was a nice puree of salty lemon paste/pulp to use by little spoonfuls in different things. The reason I did not rinse these is that I plan to use it for meals that salt will be needed anyway. That means I won’t be putting salt in during the cooking because the salt in this is plenty enough. Since I did not add any other flavors to the lemons when preserving, I can use them in sweet or savory recipes. So far I have used the puree in some black bean hummus and lemon aioli. I make tilapia and asparagus foil packets with some of the preserved lemon slices. I did not add any salt, and my family agreed it was not needed.
Here are some different ideas and ways to use these lemons:
* Use when roasting a whole chicken (place under the skin or inside of chicken)
* Use when roasting veggies like Brussel Sprouts, asparagus, etc.
* Put with steamed veggies like broccoli, green peas, or green beans
* Make foil packet meals (put on top of meat and veggies while cooking)
* Eat with meats like fish, lamb, chicken
* Chop up to use in pasta, rice, risotto, couscous, quinoa, or a pilaf
* Chop and add to fruit salads
* Chop or slice thin to add to quick breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, or other sweet dishes.
* Add to salads
* Use in place of lemon zest in recipes
* Use when making marinades
* Blend into salad dressings (like vinaigrettes)
* Use in dips like guacamole, hummus, etc.
* Mix with garlic and butter for eating lobster or cooked artichokes
* Make lemon flavored yogurt
* Make homemade mayo
* Make compound butters (aka flavored butter)
* Use in a sauce for grilled fish/seafood and other grilled meats (like aioli or pesto)
* Stir into cooked veggies, broth soups, or stews
* Stir in grain (rice) bowls
These preserved lemons turned out so well I think I’ll preserve a bunch of limes too. I know those will be tasty in many things as well. If you happened to have any preserved liquid left after using up the lemons, the liquid should be thrown out or used as a liquid in something you are cooking. Be careful not to add any more salt than needed to the dish because there is already plenty there. I would not recommend preserved lemons being safe to use with people who have restricted diets and need to watch their sodium intake.
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