I love having preserved lemons on hand to add a little salty zing to grain salads, pastas and more, but sometimes the giant jar crammed into the back of my fridge seems to take up more space than it's worth. That's why I love this idea from Melissa Clark — via Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars — instead of storing them whole, puree your preserved lemons into a flavorful paste. It is easy to use and takes up less space in the refrigerator.
The tip comes from Melissa Clark's excellent cookbook, Cook This Now, where she recommends removing the seeds from preserved lemons and blending the flesh and rinds into a paste, which can be stored in a smaller jar under a layer of olive oil to keep it fresh.
Marisa McClellan tried this with a jar of preserved lemons hidden in the back of her fridge and gives the idea a thumbs-up. "Now, whenever I want to add that funky, tangy, salty, tart preserved lemon flavor to a dish, all I have to do is dip a clean spoon into a jar that now lives on the door of the fridge," she says.
You can keep a few of the lemons whole for the times when slivers or small pieces of preserved lemon would be better-suited for a dish, and make the rest into a paste for dressings, sauces or just general flavor-boosting.
Have you ever made a preserved lemon paste? How do you like to use it?
(Images: Emma Christensen; Marisa McClellan)