- 7 large lemons or 14 medium-sized ones
- Up to 1/4 cup of kosher salt
- *optional Fresh lemon juice
- Slice the tops, and bottoms off of the lemons so they lie flat. Then, with a sharp knife cut each lemon in half lengthwise but do NOT go all the way through to the bottom. Turn the lemon 90 degrees and cut again but making sure to not cut all the way through. You should now have a lemon that almost ‘flowers’ open.
- In a clean wide-mouth pint mason jar, add about 1 Tbl of salt to fully cover the bottom of the jar. To each cut lemon, gently open it up and sprinkle 1-2 Tbl of the salt inside onto the flesh. Then close to help ‘reshape’ the fruit.
- Place one whole lemon, cut side up, into the jar. Using a wooden press or spoon, press down onto the lemon to help push some of the juice out. You are ‘smashing’ it essentially. Add another Tbl of salt and then another lemon. Repeat this step until all of the lemons are in the jar. It will be tight but that’s what you want. If you find that after you put the last lemon in and there’s not enough juice, add fresh lemon juice to ensure that the fruit and peels are covered completely.
- Cover with an air-tight lid, shake to help distribute the salt, and set in a warm, dry place for 3 weeks. You must shake the jar daily to ensure that the salt is evenly dispersed throughout.
- After 3 weeks you can use or transfer the entire jar to the fridge.
- To use, remove one or however many you need from the jar, rinse off the salt, remove the seeds, and chop either just the rind or the rind and flesh in dressings, marinades, bean dishes or whip them up in a blender to make a paste or spread for pasta, soups or on crostini.
- In the fridge, this will last up to a year provided that the lemons are covered with that salty brine solution.
*time does not include the 3 weeks you need to wait for it to preserve