Cooking is relaxing for me, as it is for so many, and jam-making has always done the trick. The patience required to make strawberry jam is like a breathing exercise in yoga–you calm down, focus, and soon enough you’re left feeling less stressed-out and a lot less tense. But recently, when I wanted to chill out over a bubbling pan of fruit and sugar, I couldn’t bring myself to do it to myself. Or to my roommate. After all, jam needs heat, and my kitchen rests at a way-above-comfortable hot.
The solution: Preserved Lemons. A staple in Moroccan flavor profiles, lemons get packed in salt, and develop a rich, interesting (and versatile) flavor. You’ll find them in tagines, but you can also add a bit of the lemon rind to pesto for a deeper flavor, or chop it up in a pasta dish or grain salad.
But to keep on relaxing, try adding a bit of the brine to a cocktail for a surprising addition of salt.