With the exception of tangerines, which I know come at Thanksgiving, I associate fruit with summer. Because of this orientation, I am always surprised when the citrus arrives in the dead of winter (if you can call it that here in sunny, Southern California). January, February. Our trees are laden with lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. We make lots of lemonade or lemon presse with a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pitcher of simple syrup, and a pitcher of water. Make it to your taste. I also am always on the browse for good lemon recipes and quite a few are here in this blog. In February 2013 I wrote and posted a recipe about preserving lemons.
It’s a time-consuming task.
But then I came upon this recipe in Vegetarian Times (Vegetariantimes.com) for “Quick-Preserved Lemons.” How could I resist. I have some on the back of the kitchen counter preserving right now! Takes but a few days.
Quick Preserved Lemons
4 organic lemons
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 dried chile de arbol (broken into 3 pieces) or ½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
Directions: Slice the ends off the lemons and discard. Chop lemons into ¼-inch pieces, discarding the seeds.
Place the chopped lemons, salt, brown sugar, chile de arbol or red pepper flakes and bay leaf in a small bowl and stir to combine. Transfer to a clean glass jar (I use a jam jar) and place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Let stand at room temperature for three days, then store in the refrigerator up to three months.