When life gives you lemons…

make preserved lemons!  They are perfect for North African–inspired recipes, such as Moroccan tagines and Couscous Royale (see my post “North African Couscous”). Use the juice in place of vinegar in vinaigrette, put a slice in any stew, and stuff a roasted chicken with one for starters.

Begin by boiling a big pot of water and dropping in many (maybe 10) lemons. Remove after a minute with tongs and allow to cool. Make sure your glass jar and lid are clean and dry (boil them too if you are unsure). 

Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of salt in the bottom of a jar. Slice some lemons lengthwise from the stem into quarters, being careful not to go all the way through (leave a half-inch attached to hold them together). Sprinkle salt liberally inside the lemons and close them up tight. Press one by one into the jar, squeezing some juice out as you go.

When the jar is full, sprinkle another tablespoon or so of salt on top. Squeeze the remaining lemons to cover the ones in the jar with juice. Close it up and give it a shake. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least a few weeks before using; the preserved lemons and their juice are good for up to a year.

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