Meet your new go-to ingredient for boosting flavor in dips and spreads: preserved lemons! This easy method for salt-curing and storing lemons will guarantee that you always have this helpful ingredient on hand.
Preserved lemons can be used in a variety of recipes -- like hummus, baba ghanoush, and other dips and spreads -- to add a strong lemon flavor. You can also mix it into ground meat, or use it instead of lemon peel in any recipe. Get the recipe for Salt-Cured Meyer Lemons.
In a large pot cook five whole lemons in enough boiling water to cover for 1 minute. Drain and rub dry with paper towels. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
Cut each lemon lengthwise into quarters, from the blossom end to 1/2 inch from the stem end, leaving the lemon wedges attached at the base.
Cupping the lemon in your hand, open lemon quarters slightly. Spoon about 2 tablespoons coarse salt into the lemon, covering all exposed areas of the lemon pulp.
Gently squeeze the lemon quarters back together, keeping the salt inside the lemon.
Firmly pack salted lemons into a sterilized 1-quart canning jar, pressing down to release juices. Add any remaining salt to jar. Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice into jar to cover lemons. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator at least 3 weeks before serving, shaking jar once a day. Press down on lemons as necessary to keep them completely covered with juice. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
To use, remove a lemon from the jar. Rinse lemon with cool water. Remove and discard pulp from the lemon. Scrape off the pith (white layer on peel) with a sharp paring knife. Then chop the lemon peel and stir it into hummus, baba ghanoush, or any recipe calling for lemon peel.