March 2, 2012
Students often ask me what my favorite cuisine is and invariably I answer Moroccan. I love the not too sour and slightly sweet with a medium to hot spiciness taste sensations. The recipes are adaptable to the seasons and pretty quick to pull together.
One ingredient, however, that you must plan for a month ahead of time is preserved lemons. They can be purchased at great cost and some searching. Forget that, for here is a recipe that can be quickly made at home with items from the market.
Please use organic lemons and look for the smallest ones with thin skins. If you can find organic Meyer lemons, I’m jealous.
12 organic lemons
1/2 cup course sea salt
Cut 6 of the lemons in half cross-wise and then on the cut side make a cross almost to the tip of the lemon. Open slightly and fill with salt. Place them in a sterilized glass container and cover with the remaining salt. Squeeze the remaining lemons and add the juice to the jar. Press down firmly so that the lemons on the top are submerged. Place in a dark cupboard for one month. Shake every few days. Store in the refrigerator for 6 months.
Note: The pulp is discarded and just the rind of the lemons is used in Moroccan cooking. In the photo I’ve added bay leaves and Thai dried hot peppers to really spice it up!