Lacto-fermented, salt preserved lemons add a bright flavor to meals, like hummus, chicken, fish, and rice dishes.
- 3 to 5 pounds of organic lemons
- 1 cup of coarse Himalayan salt or kosher salt
- Wash each lemon and remove the stem end. Slit the first lemon in quarters or sixths without cutting all the way through the lemon. The lemon will open like a flower. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt inside the quartered lemon, close up the “petals” and place them into the jar. Continue cutting each lemon in the same way and sprinkle each lemon with 1 tsp of salt per small lemon or 1 tbsp of salt per large lemon. Place each lemon in turn into the jar, until the jar is full to the shoulders.
- Add your glass weight to the jar, over top of the lemons. Press down on the weight to release the lemon juice from the lemons. Place a lid on the jar. Allow the lemons to sit for 4 to 6 hours while the juices are extracted from the lemons by the salt. You should end up with two to four inches of lemon juice in the bottom of the jar.
- Remove the lid after 4 to 6 hours. Press down on the weight to get the juice to rise above the weight in the jar. If necessary add filtered water or freshly squeezed lemon juice to the jar to top up the liquid and bring it above the weight in the jar. Replace the lid. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 4 to 8 days. If necessary top up the jar with more fresh lemon juice or filtered water, to keep the liquid level over the glass weight and prevent air pockets in the ferment. Don’t use treated tap water in fermentation, because the chemicals will impede the natural fermentation process.
- After 24 to 48 hours the jar will start to bubble. Once or twice a day push the lemons down under the weight, if needed, keeping brine over the weight. The jar will bubble for 6 to 8 days and then the activity in the jar will slow down. Once the active bubbling stops, remove the fermentation airlock and ring and replace it with a normal jar lid. Refrigerate the preserved lemons. Keep them for at least a month before you start to use them. The tartness will become milder and the lemon flavour will intensify as the lemons are preserved through lacto-fermentation.