Sunshine in a jar
I’m not sure if I remember such a gorgeous summer in Toronto, but then again I’ve spent many summers away. During out travels I would have to say Charlotte, NC was my favourite for weather in general but it also had the most fantastic produce. It’s where I first tried okra (not a favourite) and grits (only with a cup of butter and cheese) and surprisingly, preserved lemons.
Preserved lemons are commonly used in Indian and South African cuisine but made most famous by the Moroccans. Eating out for lunch one day I ordered the Moroccan catfish. Catfish is served almost everywhere in Charlotte but it was only out of my love for anything ethnic that I ordered this funny sounding dish. It came served with tomatoes, olives and preserved lemons. So good! Crazy that I waited this long to try making my own.
I decided to use a recipe from a blog that I’ve been loving lately, Garden Betty.
I only had dried peppercorns, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks on hand but feel free to add juniper berries, star anise or even small amounts of dried nutmeg bark.
This was by far the easiest canning recipe I’ve attempted. The bottles do not need the water bath at the end because the salt is enough to keep the lemons almost indefinitely if…you are very careful about cleaning your jars and lids and then being sure to use clean utensils each time to extract the lemons. Now what to do with these after 3 weeks of sitting in my nice and cool, dark canning pantry? I have a ton of ideas but please share yours and I’d be happy to do some recipe testing :)
Have a great labour day long weekend!