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Making Preserved Lemons for a Holiday Gift

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The flavor and texture of preserved lemons are unique and cannot be replicated with other ingredients. They can be added to soups, stews and salads to give familiar dishes new life.

Preserved Lemons make a lovely and practical holiday gift for the food lover on your list. Chef Dennis Pitchford shows you how to do it, step by step.

(For complete ingredients and preparation instructions, please refer to the recipe)

Preserved Lemons are one of Chef Dennis Pitchford’s favorite gifts for food enthusiasts. Start by cleaning with soap and boiling water a small ramekin, a 1-quart glass jar and its air-tight lid. Allow to dry completely.

Thoroughly scrub the lemons and wash with soap and water. Slice the small bumps off both ends of the lemons.

Quarter each lemon pole to pole.

If you are giving the lemons as a gift, you may wish to remove the seeds and trim the pith (the white material that runs from top to bottom through the lemon).

Pour salt into a bowl. Place each lemon slice into the salt, one at a time, rolling it until the lemon is heavily caked in salt.

Place the salt-caked lemon into the glass jar. Repeat until the glass jar is almost completely packed.

Pour the lemon juice into the jar, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Add a tablespoon of salt.

To ensure the lemons remain completely submerged in lemon juice, place the bottom of the ramekin through the mouth of the jar and on top of the lemons.

Leaving the ramekin inside the jar, close the lid and clamp it shut.

Turn the jar over to make sure you have a tight seal. Allow the lemons to pickle for 30 days at room temperature, turning/shaking the jar each day to redistribute the salt throughout the liquid. The lemons will be fully-preserved after 30 days. The preserved lemons can be transferred to refrigeration and stored for up to 6 months.

Tie a nice bow around it, and you’ve got a lovely and unique holiday gift.