Preserved Lemon

Salty-tangy preserved lemons are, next to baby human beings, the most amazing thing you can make at home with little skill. Exaggeration? Perhaps. But they are incredibly versatile, deeply lemony, beautiful to behold—and they last forever and are dead-easy to make. You don't even really need a proper recipe to make this wonder condiment, which originated in Morocco but is useful in everything from vinaigrettes to stews and wherever you want a bit of mellow acid: Just quarter a bunch of lemons, rub the insides with kosher salt and smush them into a large jar, adding more salt and lemon juice to cover as you stack. Here's a slightly more complex version if you want to get a little fancier: Our friends and cooking heroes Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton of The Canal House call preserved lemons their "money in the bank."

"They brighten up practically any dish," they write. "They go into our salads and flavored butters, our lemon meringue tart even into our gin martinis in place of the olive. You could say we've become a little obsessed."

Make a batch and see how often you find yourself reaching for the jar in the fridge. Feeling a little obsessed? Welcome to the club.

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