A gift of a pretty jar holding a preserved lemon should thrill any experienced or adventurous cook. Salt-cured whole lemons preserved inextra-virgin olive oil are a staple in almost all Mediterranean cuisines. They are used to season slow-cooked dishes like tagines, and diced preservedlemon and its oil can be used to marinate or garnish grilled meats andseafood as well as feta and other dry cheeses. In Greek tavernas, small wedges of preserved lemon are served with drinks, along with slivers of dry, aged sheep’s milk cheeses, olives, and atbreads. The oil alone is aperfect addition to marinades and vinaigrettes. Whole cardamom pods andfenugreek seeds can be found in South Asian markets, natural-foods stores,and online (see Resources, page 000). Preserved lemons improve with age.It is essential to cover the lemons by at least a half an inch of olive oil inorder to store the jar safely at room temperature.
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