An amazing condiment, preserved lemons (fermented lemons) have added probiotics and are a wonderful addition to vegetable, pasta, meat and salad dishes.
Over the last few years, I’ve tossed many many lemons. When lemon season hits here in Phoenix, I tend to get very excited… that excitement lasts for a while until I’m simply overwhelmed.
With what seems like a truckload of lemons.
I have a wonderful neighbor who eagerly drops off bags upon bags of lemons as well. Thankfully, there is a way to preserve lemons…and it’s literally a breeze.
A visit from my neighbor with additional bags of Meyer lemons is a wonderful way to start (and end!) the week. These lemons are wonderful to preserve, and so easy as well.
They all have one thing in common: they are wonderful for gut health.
How to Preserve Lemons (Fermented Lemons)
Makes 2 quarts of preserved lemons
You will need:
- 10-12 lemons (organic is best)
- 6 Tbsp Real Salt (I love this variety and I can pick up at my local grocer)
- 2 quart, wide mouth Mason Jar
- chlorine and fluoride free water
- Ferment weights (optional)
- Fermenting lids (optional but I highly recommend these)
Wash your lemons thoroughly and allow them to drain in the colander. Grab your cutting board and cut the end of each lemon with a sharp knife.
Once you slice the ends off, cut the lemons in half lengthwise. Then slice those lengthwise again down the middle, and quarter them.
I love to quarter mine because they git in the jar just perfectly. Once quartered, slice them into 1/2 – 3/4 inch slices..
Stuff them into your mason jars – 10-12 lemons will fit 2 quart, wide mouth Mason Jars.
Whip together your brine. You’ll want to heat up 2 quarts of water, and stir in 2 Tbsp Real Salt just until the heat dissolves the salt. Turn off the heat and allow the water to cool to room temperature.
(The heat helps to dissolve the salt properly!)
You might not need all of this brine, but it’s OK – because it’s better to have too much than not enough.
Once the brine has cooled, pour it into the jar with your lemons.
Add your fermenting weights (not required — totally optional!) If you don’t have weights, you can simply fill up a ziploc baggie with water and place it on top of each jar to help “push” down the lemons under the brine.
Place your fermenting lids on each jar, and fill them with a teeny bit of water. Allow those lemons to sit , undisturbed, in a cool area for 2-3 weeks. After that time, remove the fermenting lid (and plastic ziploc if you used that to weight down the lemons).
Cover your preserved lemons (fermented lemons) with a regular lid and band and refrigerate.
Your fermented lemons can be used as a snack, in a brine (to marinate fish), or in cooking. Fermented lemons will keep in the refrigerator for 6-8 months – though I’ll be honest. They probably won’t last that long because they are SO good!