Mark Bittman’s Quick Preserved Lemons
This month the food challenge that my friends and I do is to use preserved lemons in a recipe.
But first, I had to have preserved lemons. I could buy them, but I’d either have to drive into town or order them and I had a bag of lemons (because I still can’t resist the cheap lemons when I am at Sam’s Club, even though I KNOW I do not need an entire bag of lemons) so I decided to make my own.
A friend pointed me to Mark Bittman’s quick preserved lemons video:
I started by following the directions to quickly blanch the lemons to get rid of the wax (because I did not have organic, non-waxed lemons, and I would be eating the rind).
Into the boiling water the lemons went:
In the instructions it says 30 seconds, but I wasn’t looking at the instructions and went 3 minutes. Oops. But it was fine. From there to the ice water bath:
And then wipe off the wax with a kitchen towel.
I dutifully did all this, and didn’t think a lot more about the wax. But, I was amazed later washing the saucepan in which I had blanched the lemons. I put it in the dishwasher, but when I took it out the next day I could see (and feel) wax from the waterline up to the edge. I had to scrub the pan hard in order to remove the wax. Wow! That was a lot of wax!
Back to the lemons. Next up was making thin slices, removing the seeds, and then dicing the lemons, rind and all.
All the dice went into a big glass jar, along with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt.
I suppose if I had been a brighter sort of girl I would have mixed this in a bowl first and then put into the jar. But I didn’t. And I stirred up everything in the jar.
And put the lid on and shook it up. And following the instructions, I shook the jar a few more times over the next three hours.
I did a taste test, naturally, and I love that tart, bitter, salty, yet sweet taste.
Now I need to use it in some recipes.