pickling

Preserved Lemons

By: Co+op, stronger together

Total Time: 20-30 days; 30 minutes active

Servings: 36 (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

If you think a fresh lemon delivers a great flavor, you need to try a preserved lemon. The peels soften, and the fermentation adds a great depth of flavor and umami. A salty, tangy flavor explosion, a jar of preserved lemons in your fridge can be your secret weapon for perking up boring foods. Try it minced into a salad, added to casseroles, even pureed into some hummus.

Ingredients

  • 10 lemons, scrubbed very clean (you may not be able to fit all of them in your jar)

  • 2 extra lemons, for juice

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed

  • Extra fresh-squeezed lemon juice, if needed, from the lemons that won't fit in the jar

  • 1 quart canning jar, sterilized

  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin or fennel seeds, optional

Preparation

  1. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of salt into the jar. Prepare each lemon by slicing off just a little of the stem end and tip, then quartering each lemon lengthwise, leaving them attached at one end. As you slice each lemon, pry the quarters open and sprinkle salt inside and outside of each one, then pack into the jar. Pack them in with some force, to squeeze out some juice to fill the gaps with liquid. Once all the lemons are salted and packed in the jar, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of salt over them, then squeeze the remaining lemons, if necessary, to fill the jar with lemon juice. Screw the lid on the jar and let the jar sit out at room temperature for up to 30 days, turning it upside down occasionally to mix. Refrigerate once the skins soften.

  2. To use, take a lemon out of the jar and rinse well to remove the salty brine. If desired, use pulp, or discard. Chop remaining lemon rind for use in recipes.

Tips & Notes

Save the salty lemon brine—it's delicious in small amounts in dressings, marinades or other dishes that might use lemon and salt. Hummus, tabbouleh, even pastas with greens or chicken are uplifted by a little preserved lemon and brine.

Nutritional Information

7 calories, 0 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 776 mg. sodium, 2 g. carbohydrate, 1 g. fiber, 0 g. protein

Posted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at www.strongertogether.coop.

Half Sour Pickles

Total Time: 15 minutes

Makes: 1 half gallon jar

Half sour pickles are a big deli treat, but they’re easy to make at home. This is a quick way to make homemade pickles. No canning is needed to make these delicious pickles, just let them hang out in refrigerator for a week and you're good to go!

Ingredients

  • 5-8 Organic pickling cucumbers or however many you can fit into your jar

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • few pieces of fresh dill (including roots and flowers)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3-6 cloves garlic lightly smashed

  • 1 dried chili pepper more if you like spicy (optional)

  • 1/4 cup sea salt

  • 4 cups water

  • a few sprinkles of additional whole coriander seeds and peppercorns to add on top

Preparation

  1. Wash your cucumbers.

  2. Dissolve your sea salt in the water.

  3. Coarsely grind up all the dry ingredients (coriander, mustard seeds, peppercorns) in a mortar/pestle.

  4. Put the cucumbers, dried chili pepper, and bay leaves in your jar.

  5. Put the slightly mashed garlic in the jar, then ground up spices, then pour the salt water mixture on top. Discard any left over brine mixture.

  6. Add a few pieces of fresh dill on top including the roots and flowers if desired (the roots and flowers will give your pickles a slightly stronger anise flavor).

  7. Sprinkle a little bit of your additional coriander seeds, and peppercorns. (about 1 teaspoon)

  8. Make sure your cucumbers are completely covered in the brine and close the jar (do this in the sink, in case you have overflow).

  9. Wash the jars under clean running water and dry with a towel.

  10. Place your pickles in the refrigerator. Let them sit and chill for at least 1 week, but check in 5 days to see if they're ready.

Serving Suggestion

Pickles would stay nice and crisp in the refrigerated for up to a month.

To learn more about cucumbers, click here!