Where can I buy preserved lemons?

susienich
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8 Comments

Pegeen January 30, 2014
Le Bec Fin, I was just reading Creamtea's recipe for Chicken Cutlets Grilled in Charmoula with Quick-Cured Lemon Confit and it reminded me of your question about doing a "preserved lemon" with less salt. I think you could make Creamtea's lemons in this recipe for use in many recipes.
http://food52.com/recipes/13175-chicken-cutlets-grilled-in-charmoula-with-quick-cured-lemon-confit
 
Pegeen January 28, 2014
LBF, sorry, did not see your question added above until just now. Other readers probably have more knowledge of Middle Eastern cooking but my guess is that yes, originally salt was an inexpensive method of preserving many foods. But I also think the culinary tradition and taste also relied on the lemon pulp and softened rind (and not just zest).
For anyone eating low-salt they're not a great choice although you usually don't use huge amounts of them in most dishes and can rinse them off first. But even with rinsing they'll of course still contain a lot of salt from the marination process. You could also try cutting down on the salt and using more herbs and spices in the jar. There are some very good recipes around the site for doing more herbal versions.
By the way, I found that using organic lemons and really giving them a good scrubbing before marinating made a big taste difference vs "regular" lemons which often have a wax coating that can be hard to scrub off and affects the taste.
Also, I plan to try a "Buddha's Hand" citrus fruit, which I've never used before, next time in place of preserved lemons or lemon zest. They're not pulpy or juicy, so you just use the zest and apparently it's quite fragrant and lovely.
 
Rocky R. January 27, 2014
Here's a recipe I use, but can't remember the source:

Quick Preserved Meyer Lemons

5 Meyer lemons, washed
2/3 cup salt
2 cinnamon sticks
8 peppercorns
2 bay leaves

With a sharp knife, make 8 vertical cuts into peel of each lemon, cutting only as deep as the peel. In a 3 quart saucepan, combine all ingredients. Add water to cover (about 4 cups). Simmer until lemons are soft, about 30 minutes; cool to room temperature. Place lemons, liquid and spices into a clean glass jar. Cover and hold at room temperature for 1 week, then store in refrigerator.
(I've always used them within a month or 2 so not sure how much longer to recommend they'd keep.)
 
Summer O. January 27, 2014
The Bella Cucina line also has them. Whole Foods or a specialty food store would carry them.
 
pierino January 27, 2014
If you have a Sur la Table store near you they also carry them.
 
Pegeen January 27, 2014
They're so delicious. If you want to make them yourself, here are some links:

How to Preserve Lemons
http://food52.com/blog/5953-how-to-preserve-lemons
(helpful to read the comments at the end of the recipe)

http://food52.com/hotline/12262-a-question-about-a-recipe-moroccan-carrot-salad-with-harissa

 
Pegeen January 27, 2014
If you live near an Asian or Middle Eastern grocery store, try there first. You can also find them at a good higher-end supermarket, gourmet food store, gourmet deli, etc. I'd call before making a trip.
Online, you can get them from Kalustyans.com and Zingermans.com.
Purchased from a store, they're generally expensive. You can make them quite inexpensively on your own in you have at least 30 days.
The other alternative is just to use lemon zest in your recipe. It usually substitutes quite well.

 
LeBec F. January 27, 2014
peg, i've always wanted to ask this.Intro: 1) i really love citrus and i really dislike preserved lemons. 2) i am doing low-salt eating now.

Were preserved lemons developed just for preservation reasons? For moroccans living with refrigeration, do you think it is just force of habit that has them continuing to use preserved lemons over just lemon zest? (I'm not asking you as the world authority but thought you might have good thoughts on it!)thx.
 
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