Food
‘PRESERVED LEMONS’ BY HELEN WESTWATER OF ‘LA OLA FRESCA’

##So, Summer is here and who knows where Spring went? Our condolences to those affected personally by the crisis and thanks to the hard work and dedication of health service workers. ‘La Ola Fresca’ is open again and ready to receive you once more with a new line in takeaway picnics and dishes to enjoy on the terraza. It has been a surreal siesta, in which I can say at least I have rediscovered my home and who I live with!

Like others I have discovered some positives that have come to light of spending more time on ourselves, family and taking time and paying attention to what we eat. However, it has highlighted the great insecurity of those who are employed in seasonal work… particularly in the restaurant and agricultural industries. It would be great if we keep some of the values we’ve learnt during this crisis, such as cutting down on traffic and how we value the cost of the food on our plates and in local shops. So, I’m going to use this article to give a big shout to local restaurants in Benimaclet, ‘Al Paladar’, ‘La Búfala’, ‘Carabasser’, ‘Talla Focs’, ‘Kaf Café’, ‘La Gramola’, ‘Aprendiz’ and ‘Terra’. And I also recommend ‘La Comanda al granel’ and ‘Verosenda’ Organic fruit and vegetable delivery and encourage you wherever you live to seek out places that are seeking to make a difference.

Talking of preserving good things, one heavenly ingredient that I made during this time was Preserved Lemons. They are oh so easy to make and one that converts any dish to awaken the taste buds and give a scent of the orient. Preserved lemons keep forever (well at least 3 months) and are an amazing standby in your larder cupboard for many dishes.

Preserved Lemons
You will need sterilised airtight jars, preferably a kilner style with a rubber seal. The amount of lemons and salt you will need for this recipe really depends on how much you want to make. But bear in mind they won’t be ready for about 3 weeks so it’s worth making a fairly big batch. I would normally use about 15 lemons. The most important thing being that they are unwaxed and preferably organic, as it is the rinds you will be eating in the end result. You will also need good quality table salt.

Method
Simply cut off the top and bottom of your lemon and then quarter so you can open them a bit like a flower about to bud in spring. Place a few teaspoons of salt in the bottom of your clean jar and scatter about a teaspoon into your little semi open flower. Close it tight and squish it down tightly into the bottom of the sterilised jar, squeezing out the juice as you go. Repeat until your lemons fill the jar. By this stage the jar should be half full with lemon juice. Take some boiled water that has cooled slightly and fill up the rest of the jar. If you like you can flavour your lemons with chilli, bay leaf, peppercorns. Personally, I prefer to let my lemons do the talking and leave the flavouring to later. Shut tight and leave your lemons to do their thing in a cool dark place for approximately three months. Turn the jars, every now and then, to redistribute the juices. Once opened, it is best to keep them in the refrigerator.

So, how are we going to use these zesty little numbers? Just scope out the pith and cut the rind up to your needs basically with anything you like! Of course, in most Moroccan dishes and they will zap up any chicken or fish looking for excitement. Bake them, fry them roast them, mash into creamed potatoes or simply combine with sauces and dressings to give it a little zig-ah-zig-ah!

Oh, of course, lemons are also a valuable source of immune boosting vitamin C and potassium! Stay safe and well and we hope to see you soon!

LA OLA FRESCA
C/ Músico Magenti,11
Tel:610 025 305
Zona Benimaclet

www.laolafresca.com

https://www.facebook.com/LAOLAFRESCA/

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