Perfect preserved lemons

One of my biggest frustrations is coming across foods that I know, in theory, I should like, but they just don't seem to work for me. One such food is preserved lemons. This should be a no-brainer for me. I love lemon. I love salt. I love anything pickled or preserved. Yet, try as I may, I've never eaten a preserved lemon that I've much liked. I've eaten them with meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. I have sampled different brands, tested different recipes, eaten them at restaurants–heck, I've even eaten them in Morocco, their place of origin! Alas, I just never got it.

But all of that has finally changed for me thanks to a new cookbook. The book, titled “Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work“, was written by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot, popular food bloggers, educators and photographers. In the book, Kamozawa and Talbot offer new approaches to many classic recipes, often tweaking them in ways that make them both easier to prepare and better tasting, and their recipe for preserved lemons is a perfect example of this.

The traditional way of preparing preserved lemons is to first douse the lemons in copious amounts of salt, and then set them aside for weeks to allow the salt to penetrate the skin and flesh. As a result, their cell structure is slowly broken down, until the lemons are quite tender. Unfortunately, they are also typically quite salty and bitter.

The method proposed in Ideas in Cooking, on the other hand, not only takes a little more than a day from start to finish, but also leaves you with a perfect preserved lemon. The process calls for a surprisingly minuscule amount of salt compared to most recipes, requiring just one teaspoon for five lemons, as opposed to the one fourth to one half cup that most recipes call for with the same number of lemons. Instead of the extra salt, this recipe relies on the process of freezing and thawing the lemons multiple times to help break down the cell structure and tenderize them.

I made my first batch of these preserved lemons three days ago, and they are so good that they are almost all gone. I've eaten them on everything from sushi, to rapini to wild boar and can’t believe how well they stood up to each dish. They are tender, slightly tart and acidic, and mildly salty, with a refreshing light flavor and just a hint of pleasant bitterness. They are just as I always imagined a preserved lemon should be.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses