Quick Pickled Lemons
Yield: makes about 3/4 cup
Typical preserved lemons take weeks to prepare, but these just need a few hours. If you’re not familiar with the flavor, try imagining an olive made out of lemons. Mince a few and add to a sandwich, serve alongside pilaf, or add some to almost any lentil dish.
In a small bowl, mix together sugar, salt and saffron threads. Using a sturdy spoon and a firm hand, add diced lemons and their juices to the bowl and macerate until sugar mixture is evenly distributed. Transfer to a sterilized jar and let sit for 4 hours at room temperature.
Put the jar in the refrigerator and rest overnight. The lemons will be ready to use the following day, and will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Jar Sterilizing Instructions: Wash your jars, bands and lids in hot, soapy water. Place empty jars in a large pot and completely cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave them in the hot water for up to 1 hour before filling.
This quick pickle is different than most: the lemon pieces are pickled in their own highly acidic juice, with just a little salt and sugar to help out the process.