I love growing and cooking my own vegetables, though sadly due to space restrictions in our yard, the only fruit I'm able to grow is a lowly Eureka lemon tree.
Not that lemons are something to be sniffed at; in summer we drink amazing lemon minted water out on the porch, make our own cordials and desserts, and as we move into fallI collect the bounty and preserve them for one of our favorite dishes, chicken tagine.
Preserved lemons are commonly used in North African dishes, and their salty taste and texture lends complexity to the simplest dishes like sauteed vegetables.
While preserving them takes little more than a mason jar and salt, my recipe below takes it up a notch and boosts the flavor.Ingredients:
A sterilized mason jar
Several small lemons
Coarse sea salt
2 dried red chillis
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
Step 1: Wash your lemons, trim the base off being careful not to cut into the flesh.
Step 2: Quarter the lemons making a X pattern, though not cutting the whole way through the lemon.
Step 3: Stuff the insides of the lemons with coarse salt before placing them into the mason jar.
Step 4: Fill the mason jar with the lemons, applying enough pressure to squeeze the juice out of the lemons.
Step 5: Add in the chillies, cinnamon, bay leaves and coriander seeds and top up the rest of the mason jar with lemon juice, covering the lemons in the brine solution.
Step 6: Tighten the mason jar lid and place it in a cupboard and allow them to cure for 3-4 weeks, you'll know they are ready when the pith become soft. You can store them for up to a year.