PRESERVED MEYER LEMONS

Serving: 24 lemon halves

By: Chef John Besh

Yes, you can preserve regular lemons using this recipe—a variation of a North African process we love—but Meyer lemons are so much more fragrant. Preserved lemons can spark up roast chicken, fish, crab salad, stews, and any light meat such as baby goat, veal, and rabbit.

12 Meyer lemons, washed
1 cup sea salt
Freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

Trim off and discard both ends of each lemon. Cut the lemons in half crosswise and squeeze the juices into a clean, lidded glass jar large enough to accommodate the lemons snugly. Rub the spent lemon halves all over with the salt, packing the cavities with any leftover salt, and fit the lemons into the jar. If there isn’t enough lemon juice in the jar to cover the lemons, add more freshly squeezed juice.

Tightly cover the jar with the lid and store the lemons in the refrigerator, turning the jar upside down and right side up again every few days.

The lemons will be ready to use when the rinds have become a deep orangey yellow and the texture has become soft and supple. This will take at least 1 month. The lemons will keep in the refrigerator for another 6 months.

To use the preserved lemons in cooking, first rinse the lemon under cold running water. Cut the rind away from the flesh, discarding the flesh and seeds. The supple, salty rind is now ready to use.