Saturday, January 07, 2006

preserved Meyer lemons

Preserved lemons are a miraculous thing and even more so if made with Meyer lemons. I first discovered them when my daughter found one on the ground ( the abundance of fruit-bearing trees in the neighborhood is one of the nice things about California.) It's like a lemon but rounder in shape with smoother and shinier skin; we took it home and sliced it open to find bright yellow pulp sweet enough to eat.

They appeared in the markets around November and I had packed them in salt before leaving for vacation in France. Now the lemon wedges, snuggled tightly in a jar, were looking ripe and mellow, ready for use.

Preserved lemons are marvelous, for example, when making sauces and dressings. For one preserved lemon (half of the rind saved for later use) add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of cumin if you like, and blend in mixer. Last night I poured the creamy emulsion over steamed asparagus and scattered them atop a bed of bulgar, a dish which met with high approval.

Watching my daughter dreamily munch away on carrot sticks dipped into the remaining sauce, it occurred to me it would work equally well with a salad of grated carrots, an old standard. Minus the cumin perhaps, with plenty of chopped parsley.

Preserved lemons with cardammon and bay leaves (adapted from recipe by Paula Wolfert)

-6 lemons (preferably Meyer)
-1/2 cup of sea salt
-3 bay leaves
- 12 cardammon pods (optional)
-1 cup squeezed lemon juice

Cut the lemons in quarters lengthwise, leaving them attached at one end, seeds removed. Pack them in a jar with tight-fitting lid, interspersing with salt, bay leaves and cardammon pods. Cover with lemon juice. Keep in fridge, shake daily for couple of weeks and watch them mellow. Keeps several months.
Note: Lemons can be first blanched whole for five minutes to speed up ripening process.


4 Comments:

Blogger Anna said...

Yet another ooh! Why didn't I find this recipe when Meyers were in season...

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice colors. Keep up the good work. thnx!
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7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your website. It has a lot of great pictures and is very informative.
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9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:19 AM  

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