Most preserved lemon recipes call for cutting the lemons almost into quarters, stuffing the centers with salt, then squeezing the lemons into jars. I made them this way for many years, till I realized that actual lemon quarters—sliced all the way through—would be much more convenient when cooking (it’s rare to need a whole preserved lemon for a recipe), would be easier to pack into jars, and would release their juices more readily.
Some cooks/chefs/experts add spices to their preserved lemons, which I’m sure gives them lovely flavor. I prefer to keep them straight-up and simple so that they’re as versatile as possible.
4 to 8 organic lemons, washed and patted dry
¼ to 1/3 cup kosher salt or coarse sea salt
WASH AND DRY (sterilize if you wish) a tight-sealing 1 quart jar.
QUARTER the lemons, and toss them in a large bowl with the salt.
PACK the salted lemons flesh side down into the jar, pressing down to squeeze out the juice, and sprinkling some of the salt from the bowl between each layer.
FILL the jar to the top with lemon quarters, then scrape any remaining salt on top. Add lemon juice (from extra lemons), if necessary, to fully cover the lemons.
SEAL and shake well. Leave on a sunny shelf for a week, shaking the jars occasionally to distribute the brine.
CURE the lemons in the refrigerator for another 2 weeks before using. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year in the fridge.
TO USE: Rinse the preserved lemon quarter(s), Scrape the flesh from the rind, then chop the rind and use as directed in recipes. The flesh can be used to flavor soups and stews as well, though the texture isn’t ideal for other recipes.