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preserved lemons

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preserved lemons We recently finished reading a library copy of Patricia Wells’ wonderful book At Home in Provence. It took a long time to read it cover to cover. And we enjoyed and savoured every moment. I carefully noted the page numbers of the recipes that we HAD to try. There are over forty. I think perhaps we will have to buy the book….

In a couple of the recipes, she calls for preserved lemons. And near the back of the book is a recipe for preserved lemons that looked insanely easy. So I tried it, making half a recipe. Here is what I did:

Preserved Lemons
based on a recipe in At Home in Provence by Patricia Wells

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ c olive oil (give or take)
  1. Wash and dry the lemons well. Cut one lemon into eight wedges. Put the wedges into a glass container that has a non-metal lid. Sprinkle the wedges well with salt. (Close the lid and shake.)
  2. Cut the other lemon in half and juice it. There should be about a quarter of a cup of juice. Pour the juice over the wedges. Shake well to distribute the salt and juice throughout. Close the lid tightly.
  3. Place the jar on a shelf. Turn the lemons over once daily for seven days.
  4. After seven days have passed, add olive oil to cover completely and refrigerate. Wells says they will keep for up to six months.

I really don’t see how these lemons will possibly keep for six months in our fridge – unless we forget they’re there. How do I know? Last night, we at last were able to try the lemons. T barbecued (over a slow fire) a piece of pork tenderloin, using spice rub #2. While the pork was cooking, he sautéed some garlic in olive oil until the garlic was lightly caramelized. He then added two of the preserved lemon wedges that he had chopped into smallish pieces. This was then set aside.

The pork done and was brought in to rest. Then T cooked spaghettini and tossed it in the lemon garlic sauce and chopped parsley. He added a very few breadcrumbs to soak up some of the extra sauce. The spaghettini was served as a side dish to the thinly sliced pork along with steamed green beans. It was fantastic!! The lemons were soft, but not too soft. And intensely, freshly lemony.

We loved it so much that we’re going to have spaghettini tossed with lemons and garlic again tonight. And we’re going to buy more lemons today. We don’t want to risk running out of preserved lemon!!

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  • Amy

    I adore Patricia Wells and I’ve been meaning to try the preserved lemons–thanks for letting me know the recipe is worth the time!

  • What a great post. Those lemons sound fabulous–and so simple. Of course the best things usually are. I definitely need to try making some of these. I want some of that spaghettini! : )
    P.S. I owe you an apology. You took the time to leave such a comment on my blog, Farmgirl Fare, ages ago (that’s how I just found you) and it slipped through the cracks, and I never responded–or linked over here. Sorry!

  • ejm

    Yes, those lemons really are fantastic. We had them again in last night’s dinner (I”ll post soon about it) Do try them, Amy! (You probably have a lemon tree in your back yard too and will be able to use tree ripened lemons!)

    No need to apologize, Farmgirl! I’m glad you found me. And do let me know if try the lemons in spaghettini. I bet you’ll agree it’s as wonderful as we think it is.