As with most things in our garden we either get nothing (like our paltry tomato crop) or you get so much all at one time you either start eating the crop three meals per day or you end up composting the rest. Our Meyer lemon tree burst forth with fruit last year, most of it ripening within two weeks. I love lemons, but 40 in two weeks is a bit much to handle. A bit of quick research led to the idea of preserving lemons.
Unbeknownst to me preserved lemons are apparently an important part of Moroccan cuisine. I guess they have the same issues we had: too many lemons and not enough time to use them up before they go bad. Although the Moroccans do not use Meyer lemons I figured the sweeter Meyer lemons could be preserved just as well.
The process is very simple. It does require some waiting before you use the preserved lemons. Since you use the whole lemon, the rind has to soften first in the liquid. The result is a taste that is surprisingly subtle. You would think the use of the whole lemon would overwhelm a dish. The preserving process, which is essentially a brining process, takes the lemon notes to a very low level. It really produces some unique results in flavor that are hard to describe.
So first the recipe for brining. We will follow up with a couple of recipes, one borrowed from Moroccan cuisine and another of pure, delicious invention.