These condiments employ some of the oldest known preserving techniques, salting and pickling, and are mainly for savory uses. Although many enjoy them on ice cream or in cocktails, my Dark Cherries in Merlot Syrup are superb with lamb, duck or fine cheese, and my Grandmother’s Spiced Crab Apples are updated to taste better than I remember, good enough to use year-round with any manner meat or cheese.
Seasoning with fruits preserved in salt is a centuries-old tradition in cuisines from Japan and India to North Africa. In Morocco perfumed local lemons are salt-cured and used in their traditional tagines–stews cooked in clay pots with distinctive conical lids–especially lamb stew and the classic chicken with olives. I now use them in marinades, soups and salads, to flavor a pot of beans, sautéed greens like spinach or chard, hummus, on bread with olive oil and garlic, with roasted peppers and olives, in couscous or rice pilaf, under the skin of a roast chicken or in the cavity of a fish.
Traditionally a section is removed from the jar, washed and steeped in a dish during cooking but not necessarily eaten. When using mine I find everything in the jar is edible--pith, peel, fruit and brine. Just use less. Chop fine or use a garlic press to mash the fruit, then add it directly to the dish. A couple of teaspoons is usually enough.
For a basic seasoning, add 1 teaspoon to 1/4 cup olive oil, with 1/2 garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Puree or combine in mortar and pestle. Use as a marinade for steak, chicken, fish, drizzle on bread or sauteed greens, on soups or salads.
Download Salt-preserved Citrus recipes:
Salt Preserved Citrus (Salt_Preserved.pdf 103k)