At first glance it would seem that the winter months are not ideal for preserving fruit. Let’s pick, marinate and boil lemons! It’s very interesting, healthy and tasty.
The simplest preparation is known to everyone since childhood. You take a lemon, cut it into thin slices. Put it in a small jar, pour sugar. Cover the jar with the lid and shake it vigorously. The lemon slices, sprinkled with sugar, were left for a few hours, or better for 24 hours. But this is all child’s play. We call upon you to get down to serious business: salting, pickling and boiling!
Salted lemons are the perfect condiment for all sorts of Southern African dishes: lamb stews, couscous, fish dishes and thick, ragu-like vegetable sauces. You can simply mix them with extra virgin olive oil, add coriander, freshly ground black pepper and season with bulgur or rice. Only one of the main and most delicious seasonings in Moroccan cuisine – pickled lemons – should be prepared in advance because it is difficult to buy them here. Only the peel is good as a seasoning, we do not use the flesh and the brine. Sometimes, depending on the recipe for pickled lemons, the juice can be used to dress salads. But first the rind has to be rinsed thoroughly from the salt or no salt at all in the dish.
There are two main ways to prepare salted lemons: in a salt solution and in vegetable oil. The first method takes a long time – the lemons have to be salted for about a month; the second method is more rapid, the lemons are ready on the 4th or 5th day.
The classic pickled lemons: just lemons, salt and water
Salted lemons can safely be called “Moroccan salted lemons” because they are so often used to make traditional tagine. This is a classic recipe that can be upgraded to suit your taste by adding spices and spices: cinnamon, cloves or fennel seeds. Lemons are cooked for about 1 month.
Salted lemons with cinnamon and cloves in vegetable oil
Salted lemons are very popular in North Africa. They are never eaten whole – lemons are salted just for the rind (not the zest!), which is sliced thinly and added to fish, meat tajines, couscous and other delicious national dishes. These are very fragrant lemons. You can add bay leaves, but do not overdo it. These lemons will be ready in 15-20 days and the juice can be used to make salads or marinate fish.
Regardless of the cooking method, choose lemons with thin peel.
If the lemons are not completely covered with liquid during the pickling process, mould might form.
If you’re cooking meat, fish or vegetables in a Mediterranean style – pickled lemons are a big help! They are used in almost every cuisine in the Mediterranean: Italian, Moroccan and, of course, Israeli. Pickled lemons are served with falafel, kebabs and fried fish, added to sandwiches and even burgers. Once the zest is cut off, use it to braise lamb, white fatty fish or chicken.
Marinated with garlic and paprika lemons in olive oil
This recipe is a good alternative to the traditional one, in which whole lemons are marinated for a month. Our pickled lemons will be ready in 24 hours.
Boil the lemons
Marmalade of thin-skinned lemons with pink pepper
Of course, this isn’t the same marmalade – colourful translucent teddy bears and not the flaky kind that’s great for stuffing small cakes for tea. It is a thick transparent slightly jelly-like mass, carefully placed in jars – fragrant and delicious to the last drop. You should not stuff anything with such lemon marmalade. Just serve it with meat or poultry – and you will be happy. Better yet, make more of this marmalade (pre-check it for taste, of course), put it in jars and you are ready to make edible gifts for friends and colleagues! Just be warned that this is a snack marmalade, and it is suitable for main hot dishes or snacks, not for tea ceremonies.
Lemon and orange marmalade with honey
This is probably the most expensive lemon filling of the above. Here oranges and honey are added to the lemons, but it is the simplest in technology and the quickest in preparation time. It can be used as soon as it has cooled.
Boil the lemons together with the oranges for 15 minutes each and cool twice. In between cooking, slice and mix with the flower honey. Simplicity is the key to success. You can chop the citrus fruit in a blender if you like, but we like it when there is a texture – chunks.