Preserved Lemons

  • 8 large lemons (preferably organic), scrubbed clean
  • About 3 cups sel gris
  • 8 juniper berries (optional)
  • Fresh lemon juice, as needed

1. Cut the tips off the ends of the lemons. Cut each lemon into quarters lengthwise, leaving them attached at one end. Pack the lemons with as much salt as they will hold. Insert one juniper berry into each lemon.

2. Put the lemons in a sterilized wide-mouth quart-size jar, packing them in as tightly as possible. As you push the lemons into the jar, some juice will be squeezed from them. When the jar is full, the juice should cover the lemons; if it doesn't, add some fresh lemon juice.

3. Seal the jar and set aside for 3 to 4 weeks, until the lemon rinds become soft, shaking the jar every day to keep the salt well distributed. The lemons should be covered with juice at all times; add more as needed. Rinse the lemons before using.

From Salted: a Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral by Mark Bitterman. Copyright © 2010 Mark Bitterman. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Makes about 1 quart

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