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Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR /

Preserved lemons are common in North African cooking and add a certain zing to dishes such as vegetable tagines, lentils with spinach or couscous salads. Organic lemons are best, since you'll be eating the skin.

Makes 2 pint jars

8 to 10 organic lemons, scrubbed

1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed

Fresh lemon juice, if needed

Sterilize pint canning jars by placing in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove carefully with tongs before filling.

Place 2 tablespoons of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.

Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut each lemon into 8 wedges and discard seeds. Toss with kosher salt in a bowl.

Pack the lemon slices in the jar, pushing them down so juice is extracted and rises to the top of the jar. Fill the jar with the lemons and add enough lemon juice to cover lemons. Top with a few tablespoons of salt. Screw on lid. Let stand at room temperature, shaking jar gently once a day, for five days.

Refrigerate and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks. To use, remove lemon slices from jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt.

Jars can be stored in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

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