A preserved lemon is like a well cellared red wine—it develops with time and love.
I like to keep my lemons preserved for a good year, however you can pop open a jar earlier if need be.
They are gorgeous - jammy, zingy and salty that bring much joy to a dish.Introducing another element in itself. I was very fortunate to have had two suppliers involved in this process of lemon preserving.
One: our neighbour up the road carefully selected their lemons from their tree prior to the regular attack from the local cheeky cockatoos. And left them at our front door.
My second supplier is the wonderful local harvest collective www.thelocalharvestcollective.tumblr.com , who sourced a case of lemons for me from Mangrove Mountain, NSW.
In this post I have left you with two recipes. One is for preserving lemons the other is just a quick salad I put together; sardines and preserved lemon.
This is a wonderful match, oily fish pairing with strong citrus lemon and salty flavours with a little kick from the scud chilli. Bon appetite. photography and styling by the wonderful luisa brimble.
- 12 Unwaxed whole lemons
- 12 Tbsp Salt
- Lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Glass jars, sterilise the jars in boiling water
- Wash your lemons.
- Cut your lemons into quarters but only 2/3 down the lemon so it is still in tact.
- Sprinkle the salt into the slits of the lemons. And rub the salt all over the lemon.
- Place the lemons whole in the jars.
- Sprinkle any excess salt over the lemons.
- Pour fresh lemon juice over the lemons so it is submerged.
- Pour a layer of Extra virgin olive oil on top. This helps to keep the lemon submerged and avoids mould developing.
- Screw the lid on tight.
- Keep stored in a dark cool place. Best to turn the jar upside down on a quarterly basis.
Sardines with preserved lemon salad
- butterflied Fried garlic
- finely slice garlic and fry in some olive oil till golden. Strain onto paper towel.
- Coriander, picked and washed
- Parsley, picked and washed
- Shallot, finely sliced into rounds
- Preserved lemon - take off the pith ( throw the pith away) so you are just left with the lemon skin. Very thinly slice the lemon skin.
- Scud chilli - this a very small chilli similar to a bullet chilli but a lot more intense. Thinly slice the chilli on an angle.
- Lemon segments
- Baby capers
- Lemon Dressing - 1 Tbsp lemon juice to 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
- Season well with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Heat olive oil a frying pan.
- Sear the butterflied sardines in a very hot pan. Season the fish with sea salt.
- At the same time you can put together your preserved lemon salad. So in a bowl add your coriander leaves, parsley leaves, fried garlic, baby capers, lemon segments, shallots, chilli and preserved lemon. Dress it with a little lemon dressing, salt and pepper.
- Place the cooked sardines on a plate and arrange your salad on top. Sprinkle some more lemon dressing over the salad and fish. Then add your crispy fried garlic pieces.