Edible Omaha

Preserved Lemons

Yield: 1 quart

8 lemons
8 tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup lemon juice
Optional Spices:
1 tablespoon whole fennel seed
1 tablespoon whole coriander
2 dried Thai chilies
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh bay leaves

Rinse and dry lemons. Cut a cross into the lemons, almost to the base, so that they are in quarters yet still held together at the stem. Pack a tablespoon of salt into each lemon where the incision is made.

Place the salt-stuffed lemons in a sterilized wide-mouth quart Mason jar, packing them tightly with any spices you are using. Pour lemon juice over lemons. If the lemon juice does not completely cover them, add more until they are fully submerged under juice. Screw the lid on the jar and let sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks, gently shaking every few days to help dissolve the salt. When the lemon rind is soft and pliable they are ready for use.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. The rind can be finely chopped and added to chicken dishes, grain salads or braised greens. The interior flesh can be blended into sauces or salad dressings.

—Recipe by Abigael Birrell