Sunday, August 31, 2008
Preserved Lemons and Lime Pickles
I was inspired by dear Loba at the Anima Center to make preserved citrus when I got home. I had the chance to do this once while helping in Loba's kitchen, and then thouroughly enjoyed topping my wild food with the preserved lemons and limes we had made. Of course, I live pickling and preserving foods anyway, so brought the inspiration home to share.
Preserved lemons are a Moroccon specialty, and often spices like cardamom and cinnamon are added for a unique flavor. The recipie below is for plain preserved lemons, but feel free to add spices of your choosing. I like the versatality of the plain preserved lemons, but will definately be experimenting in the future. Cardamom lemons....clove lemons....
This recipie is also exactly applicable to limes. In India and in Indian cooking there are hot spicy pickles made with limes and green mangos, various chiles, onions, and spices. Here's my simple version for spiced lime pickles ( but they aren't nearly as hot as the lime pickles you buy at the Indian market.)
1 clean glass pint jar
Just over 1 lb of citrus (lemons or limes)
Two tablespoons non iodized, sea salt
Spices of choice:
For spiced limes I used 1 tbsp mild chile powder, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric
For morrocan lemons try clove, cardamom, cinnamon, or spices like the limes for spicy lemon pickles.
Slice 1 lb of your fruits into thin rounds, half moons, or quarters/eighths, reserving a couple of fruits for the juice. Toss your sliced fruits with the salt, and spices. Pack the slices into your jar and press down firmly with a meat pounder, clean jar, or clean jar lid with a clean rock on top.
Keep pressing until the juice comes over the fruits. If needed add the juice from the reserved fruits to cover the salted ones in the jar. The secret here is to keep the fruit covered by the salty juice. If they poke out the chance for mold is greater. Just keep them covered in juice.
Put a lid, preferably a plastic pickling lid, on your jar and let the pickles sit on the counter for 3-5 days. Store in the fridge or pantry for 3-6 months.
Enjoy your pickles in ethnic recipies, meals, or as a garnish on vegetables, meats or anything else you dream up. Lime pickle with raita(yogurt) and dal or meat in Masala or Vindaloo sauce is fabulous!