Preserved lemons are a delightful and tangy addition to many culinary traditions, have been gracing kitchens around the world for centuries. This unique method of preserving lemons not only extends their shelf life but also imparts a distinct and intense flavor to a wide range of dishes. Believed to have originated in the Middle East and North Africa, where the abundance of lemons met the need for a method of extending their usability. The process typically involves submerging lemons in a mixture of salt and their own juices, allowing them to ferment and develop a complex, savoury-sour flavor profile.
I haven't tried doing this myself, but i HAVE done something similar here... Lime pickle recipe
Preserved lemons are a versatile ingredient that can be used to enhance the flavour of a myriad of dishes. Their bold and zesty profile adds a unique depth to both savoury and sweet creations.
How do i use these flavour grenades?
- Moroccan Tagines: Preserved lemons are a key component in many Moroccan tagine recipes, adding a bright and citrusy contrast to the rich and savory flavours of slow-cooked stews.
- Grain Dishes: Incorporate preserved lemons into rice, quinoa, or couscous dishes for a burst of citrusy goodness that complements the grains.
- Salads and Dressings: Finely chopped preserved lemons can elevate salads and salad dressings, providing a concentrated lemon flavour that pairs well with various greens and vegetables.
- Seafood and Chicken: Preserved lemons are a fantastic accompaniment to seafood and chicken dishes, cutting through the richness with their acidity and adding complexity to the flavour profile.
Beyond their culinary appeal, preserved lemons offer health benefits. Lemons are naturally high in vitamin C, known for its immune-boosting properties. The fermentation process may also contribute to the development of probiotics, which can promote gut health.
I'm a particular fan of this recipe by the hairy ones: https://www.hairybikers.com/recipes/view/chicken-tagine-with-preserved-lemons-and-olives
Ottolenghi also has a pretty inspiring dish: https://ottolenghi.co.uk/recipes/preserved-lemon-chicken
I use the below, again from a favourite UK brand Belazu: