While it may seem like a shame to pack Meyer lemons in jars of salt and spices, once cured they serve a wealth of purposes. Traditionally, preserved lemons are a condiment in Morocco for tagines or couscous with green olives and root vegetables. I love to stuff them in chicken breasts with goat cheese and fresh herbs or blend them with artichokes and basil for a flavor-packed pesto. If you wanted to toss one into a margarita or michelada, I wouldn’t blame you.
- 4 Meyer lemons, rinsed and cut into 8 chunks each (see photo), seeds removed
- 1 dried red chile
- ¼ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- 1 bay leaf
Pour salt and spices into a washed and dried 12 ounce mason or other tight-sealing jar, then pack the lemons in layers on top, pressing down firmly on each layer with the back of a wooden spoon to extract some of the juice before adding another.
Seal jar, shake a few times to distribute some of the salt, then invert and place in direct sunlight. Turn the jar over every 2-3 days — you'll start to see a brine form in about two weeks.
When the lemons are half-submerged, transfer the jar to the refrigerator and allow to cure for another week before using. Once preserved, they'll keep for up to 6 months.