That’s the thing with preserved lemons. A little goes a long way. You only need one or two to flavour a large tagine. But they usually come in real big jars. So having rushed to buy them in a wave of culinary enthusiasm (like, you’ve got a new tagine, and you’ve just come back from the Maghreb, and the sun tan hasn’t yet faded), you are then kind of stuck with them. Every time you open the pantry door as the months go by, they are sitting there, reminding you of your lapsed Middle Eastern fad. Until, after a year or so, you assume that they must be off and end up them binning them in the name of needing the cupboard space.
STOP right there. Firstly, they are pretty indestructible, as long as you always use a clean fork to fish them from the jar. They might darken with time, but they won’t go off.
And secondly, there’s loads of stuff you can do with them. Other than lobbing them into tagines, that is. Here’s our top 6 suggestions:
- Mince 1 preserved lemon and add it to your salad dressing in place of vinegar or lemon juice;
- Chop 1-2 preserved lemons finely and add them to a bowl of diced peppers, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Season and sprinkle in some chopped mint, parsley and coriander, and you’ve got a citrussy salsa;
- Cut 1 preserved lemon into quarters, and use them to stuff fish: this works well with other strong flavours such as anchovy, sundried tomatoes and capers;
- Mince 1 preserved lemon, and mix it with some softened butter and chopped parsley. Chill well and use as instant ‘lemon butter’;
- Mix 1-2 chopped preserved lemons with your favourite poultry stuffing to add a terrific citrus kick;
- Try adding a little to a vodka Martini…
Got any more ideas? Leave them in the comments below.
Your jar will be empty before you know it. And if you wait til September when our new book is out, you can even learn how to preserve them yourself….