Recently I’ve been in the mood for everything sour, starting with tart fruit, lemony dishes and desserts, and ending with different kinds of pickles that I devour straight from the jar. And no, I’m not pregnant. If anything, it may have to do with some pre-menopause weirdness. So as part of this crave, I had to make these preserved lemons that I love sooo much. I’m not sure if the recipe originates in Morocco or Tunisia, but I know it is very well loved in both countries, and is a favorite condiment in Israel, where I come from.
These preserved lemons are served as a condiment with meat and fish, in sandwiches, and in salads. You can also use them in cooking. One of the ways I like to use it is in Moroccan Carrot Salad.
8-9 lemons (about 2lb) rinsed well
4 tbs salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Cut 2 lemons into quarters lengthwise, then slice each quarter into ¼ inch slices. If the lemons have many seeds in them, cut the white film on at the top of the wedge that connects all the membranes, as shown in the picture. This opens the membranes so you can easily remove the seeds.
Place the lemon slices in a pickling jar and press them down using your fist.
Sprinkle on top 1 tbs of salt, 1 sliced clove of garlic, a tiny pinch of pepper flakes, and a small pinch of the paprika.
Repeat the process with the remaining lemons, pressing every two lemons down with your fist and topping them with the spices. Fill the whole jar and make sure the lemons are well pressed. If needed, add more lemons until jar is full.
When the jar is full, top the whole thing with a little bit of olive oil to cover the lemons and ‘seal’ them. This will prevent the lemons from going bad.
Seal the jar with the lid and refrigerate. The lemons will be ready to eat in three days, and will last for up to a month refrigerated.