For the best flavor, Erez recommends using loquat lemons, which are small and sweet. Or, if those lemons are too hard to find, he suggests going with Meyer lemons, whose taste isn’t at all bitter. Erez makes his preserved lemons in winter, when lemons are at their ripest and their skin isn’t too thick. If you don’t have any loquat or Meyer lemons handy, Eureka lemons, which are the regular lemons most often found in grocery stores, will work.
Pickled lemons are best preserved in a sterilized canning jar with fresh lemon juice and salt. Erez uses Atlantic sea salt to make his preserved lemons, but kosher salt or other types of salt work as well. The sea salt (or kosher salt) will function as a preserving agent and, when added to all the lemons and fresh lemon juice, will be key to creating the perfect jar of pickled lemons. After putting his lemons into the sterilized canning jar, Komarovsky adds freshly squeezed lemon juice and more salt inside – and then additional lemon juice so that there’s enough lemon juice to completely cover the lemons.
There are countless culinary uses for fresh lemons with salt; their unique bite and umami flavor make them a complex addition to many dishes. “Lovely with calamari and unbelievable with fish and with chicken,” Erez says, homemade preserved lemons can even be puréed into a preserved lemon paste for use in salad dressings and vinaigrettes, creamy pasta sauces, and frostings for sweet treats like cakes, cookies, muffins, and scones.