Jac o' lyn Murphy: Preserved Lemons from Ibiza

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Preserved Lemons from Ibiza

I was thrilled to receive a copy of the new cookbook Ibiza, Land and Sea, by Francoise Pialoux.
It has stunning pictures, beautiful food and makes you long to visit the Spanish island.
One of the first recipes that caught my eye was for Preserved Lemons.
Citrus season is a huge highlight of winter in California.
It makes me so happy to see our Meyer lemon trees full of sunny spheres.
Now I can have them all year, and pretend I'm in Ibiza!

This recipe is so easy to make.
After I picked the lemons...

I washed them, sliced them into pretty petals, 
then salted...

Then tightly packed them into a glass jar, 
and nestled in fresh thyme...

and a bay leaf.
(she also adds chilies but I omitted those simply so I can use the lemons in more recipes)

Boiled and cooled water was added...

and a topping of olive oil.

It is so pretty to look at that I don't even mind the 1-2 month wait for them to preserve!
They will be perfect to use in salads, tagines, pastas... 

Ibiza may be known as a party mecca but it will always remind me of lemons.

Fatima's Mum's Preserved Lemons
from Ibiza Land and Sea

For a 3 L jar (6 pints)
Preparation 1-2 months before using

12 organic lemons
24 tsp course salt
1 bay leaf
1 branch of thyme
3-4 small chillies
Olive oil

Clean the jar you are going to use in very hot hater and dry.  Boil a large saucepan of water for 5 minutes, then leave to cool.  This will later fill the jar.  Wash the lemons and half-cut into quarters, ensuring the cuts allow the lemons to stay whole but open lie flowers.

Take the first lemon, open it up and pour 2 tsp of coarse salt into the centre, in the heart of the four quarters.  Close up tightly and place in the jar.  Repeat for all the lemons, pressing down as tightly as possible in the jar. In between, slip in the bay leaf, the thyme and the chillies.

Gently pour in the boiled water but do not fill to the top. Leave about 2 centimetres and top up with olive oil.  Close the lid of the jar tightly and turn the jar upside down, leaving for 24 hours.  The next day, turn the jar back up and leave the lemons to soak for 1-2 months before using.

With this method, the lemons can keep out side the fridge for a year if the jar is tightly closed.  Once it has been opened, place the lemons in the frig.

Thank you to ABRAMS Books for sponsoring this post and for sending me an advanced copy of Ibiza, Land and Sea.  I am part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party so there will be more wonderful recipes to come.

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