¾ cup sea salt, or as needed
Yields 12 lemons
Preserved lemons add a tart flavor to many African dishes, including Tagine-Style Beef Stew (page 229) and Egyptian Fava Beans (page 230).
Cut a thin strip off both ends of a lemon. Stand up the lemon and cut through the middle, almost to the bottom, taking care not to cut right through the lemon. Spread the two cut halves of the lemon apart and add up to 1 tablespoon salt on the flesh. Close up the lemon. Continue with the remainder of the lemons.
Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a sterilized glass jar. Pack in the lemons. Cover tightly. Leave the preserved lemons for at least 1 week, shaking the jar occasionally to distribute the lemon juice. Remove from the jar and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. (The lemons will last for 2 to 3 months.) Use as called for in a recipe.