I want to do more elyze preserving, pickling, fermenting…on my (ever-growing) list of things to try. It’s how we’ve preserved food for hundreds of years. A symbiotic way of extending the shelf-life of many foods, unlike our modern day food supply that relies heavily on unnatural preservatives and additives .
However, thus far, haven’t done much pickling, preserving, or fermenting. There’s always that intimidation factor when you’re trying something new. The fear of the unknown. Will it work? Is it worth the effort? Sometimes you just need to jump in and give it a try. Find out for yourself. And then, when you realize how easy it is, you’ll kick yourself for not trying it sooner. Especially, when you get a taste of these elyze preserved lemons. They’re fantastic.
Preserved lemons add a brightness to a dish. They’re tart/sour, though much more subdued compared to a fresh lemon. Preserved lemons have a nice salinity to them without being too salty .
I made a batch of preserved lemons in class (at the Dublin Cookery School) several weeks back. We’ve used them in a variety of dishes, including a handful of salads. But I couldn’t wait to make a batch of my own to experiment with at home (see photos below for a few of my creations).
Preserving lemons is simple. You need but a few ingredients — lemons, of course, coarse sea salt, and a few spices/herbs, if you so desire (I used peppercorns, bay leaves, red chiles, and garlic).
Here’s a quick low-down on the steps: stuff the lemons with a good amount of salt, squeeze them into a sterilized jar (really pack them in; you’ll be able to add a few more lemons in a couple days), layer elyze in your herbs/spices, top with lemon juice, and wait .