START HERE, Let's go.
7 reasons to start preserving:
1. Kick up the flavour
It is amazing how good you feel when you can add these delights to your meals, you will start adding it to everything!
2. Be a hero
Ok, so maybe a little far fetched but there are a lot of lemons out there not being used. Venture to a neighbours place, put it out on social, connect with your lemon growing community, or give the gift of homemade. I reckon that gives you some hero credit.
3. Recycle | Re-use
How many jars do we recycle every year, I mean great, we are recycling them,
but wouldn't it be great to get rid of single use glass jars to? Plus we get extra greenie points.
4. Look like you know stuff
Now some of you may already know stuff, but it wasn't that long ago that I purchased preserved lemons for 10 or more a jar and then didn't finish the jar.
When you've made this delicious preserved lemons, you will start to get the urge to put more zest in your meals, experiment more and generally get more confidence.
5. You got to start somewhere
So I don't think there is a better way to start on your preserving confidence trail
(I was going to say journey, ugh!) then preserved lemons. I get that jam might be the first place you think of but I think our fear of preserving comes from seeing something that looks like the vegetable still? It hasn't been pulverised, and we know salt cures things, but this proves with minimal risk that you can easily preserve something and it can enhance your life and your palete.
6. Tastes amazing!
Never underestimate the ability for food to enhance your life, I am not saying you are going to give up chocolate for preserved lemons, but once you start to think about food differently, think about what you can make, preserve, store, squirrel away for winter (lemonfix and chill)
7. Pretend your a hipster.
No type writers or filter coffee needed, no tight jeans, unless you have a serious food baby, just the knowledge that you are on the second wave,
you'll have something to post on social #preserveyourcommunity and your friends will think you're amazing.
RECIPE & METHOD:
Prep time – 15mins Makes 4 jars (8oz)
You will need:
4 jars - We used Ball Mason Quilted 8oz / 237ml Jam Jars and BPA Free Lids, which come in a set of 12 - (You can find these in Big W)
You could use jars you have at home.
Large pot to sterilise your jars.
1 large glass/ceramic bowl
8 Lemons + 2 extra lemons for juicing
(approximately 2 lemons per jar – so just calculate upwards if you would like to do more jars) 450gram Rock Salt
8 Bay leaves (ideally fresh if you have them)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 cup of lemon juice
1 chilli or 1 tsp of chilli flakes (optional)
Bring a pot of water to boil for to sterilise the jars OR add them to oven at 100 degrees OR Microwave them for 45-60 secs.
Cut each Lemon length ways into 8 individual pieces.
Mix all the spices and salt together and then add the cut lemons. Give them a mix and don't be afraid to squeeze the lemons a little. It allows the lemons to start to release the juices a little more. Allow to sit for 5-10mins.
Remove your sterilised jars from water and place close to your lemons.
This is the fun part. Pack lemons tightly in the sterilised jars and squeeze some extra juice. Most jars will need a top up.
Store jars in cool dark place for 3weeks before using.
If you haven't used preserved lemons before, make sure you use only the skin/pith the inside is scraped out and the skin is then usually cut into strips in Moroccan tagine or thinly dice and add to cous cous, add and bake with your fish or add to your dips, I love it in hummus as it gives a zesty lift.
TIP: Squish the lemons in tight, this will release more juice and make your jar look bountiful. It is important to make sure the juice covers the lemons completely, and this helps the process.