Food in Jars February Challenge: Salt Preserving
Salt preserving is one of the oldest (ancient) methods of food preservation; think bacon, gravlax (salmon), cod (bacala). You can also salt preserve herbs, vegetables and citrus.
For my first salt preserving challenge I decided to combine citrus and herbs, as I wanted a finished product that I would want to use as an ingredient in cooking. To keep it simple and use flavors my family enjoys I chose Meyer Lemons and Parsley. So, what to do with these salt preserved lemons when the brining time is up? I’m thinking this flavor combo will go wonderfully with seafood, chicken and veggie dishes. Diced up they would add a bright note to roasted brussels sprouts or tiny new potatoes – Ground in a mortar and pestle to coat fish ready to be grilled – Processed fine and added to a pan sauce to coat chicken – Yum. I’m a lemon freak anyway, so I know I will find many uses for this challenge. Here’s how I dealt with those Lemons:
- 5-10 Meyer lemons – depending on the size of the jar you are using (I used 10)
- 2 bunches of parsley, rinsed, drained and rough chopped
- Coarse Sea Salt (I used about 1 ½ pounds to 10 lemons
Cut the ends of each lemon and then cut each of the lemons in half and juice them into a bowl. Then cut each lemon half in half again so you have quarter wedges of lemons.
In a glass jar, with a lid, add a heavy layer of salt. Next add a layer of lemons to fill the bottom. Add another layer of salt and then add a handful of the chopped parsley followed by another layer of salt. Continue until the jar is almost filled, ending with another heavy layer of salt.
Next pour the reserved lemon juice into the jar until the contents are covered by the juice. You may need to press down on the contents to get good coverage.
Secure the lid on the jar and store in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks (be sure to date and label the jar).
After 3 weeks the herb/lemons should be done pickling and should be moved to the refrigerator. They will last about a year. To use the lemons alone, remove from the jar and rinse off the extra salt and dice or puree and add to your recipe. You can also mash up or process some lemons with the parsley to use in recipes, remembering to adjust the salt in your recipe.
Next up Citrus Salt…