Salt Preserved Grapefruit with Black Pepper and Cloves

We’re talking about salt preserving this month as part of the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. Several times now, I’ve read comments from people asking if it’s really as easy as it seems. After all, shouldn’t food preservation be labor intensive and time consuming? Happily, the answer is no. Not all acts of food preservation need to be hard. For instances, this batch of preserved grapefruit with spices. It took all of hands-on five minutes to make, and that includes the time I spent to take the pictures you see here.

First, I gathered my ingredients. One hefty pink grapefruit. Some sea salt. And the spices that happened to catch my fancy this morning.

From there, I cut the grapefruit into manageable pieces. In this case, that meant eighths that were then each halved again.

Then it was time to layer the grapefruit wedges. I took two pieces and snugged them into the bottom of the jar. I topped that with a teaspoon of salt, a few cloves and a couple black peppercorns.

I kept layering grapefruit pieces, salt, and spices until all the jar was full and all the grapefruit was used up (and if you don’t recognize it, I’m using a pint & half jar here. It’s the one that holds three cups).

Once the jar was full, I pressed gently on the top to ensure that the salt was going to start dissolving and give me plenty of juice. I’ll let this sit on the countertop for the next week or so, until the grapefruit pieces are entirely covered with juice and they’ve started to soften and develop a pleasingly funky flavor. At that point, the jar will go into the fridge and I’ll start using these preserved grapefruit pieces to add flavor to dips, vinaigrettes, soups, and stews.

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18 responses to “Salt Preserved Grapefruit with Black Pepper and Cloves”

  1. What do you do with the grapefruit after preserving it this way? I’ve only read about doing lemons, but without the spices, and even so, have no idea what to do with the preserved lemons.

    I’d like to know how to do salt preserving with herbs. I think I’m more likely to use preserved herbs than citrus.

    • I used between 2 and 3 tablespoons of salt for the whole jar. I’d put a couple wedges in and then dust them with a teaspoon. The idea isn’t to drown the fruit in salt, but to have just enough to draw out the moisture, create a nice environment for a bit of fermentation, and cultivate that tangy, salty, funky flavor.

    • Yes. I use one of those white plastic storage lids. Because there’s a bit of fermentation going on, you don’t want to use anything that’s going to make the jar airtight.

  2. Well, I just lucked into some oranges from the food pantry at the temple where I take watercolor class. They give away food to seniors the second Wed. of every month and I take class on Wed. They come to get us out of class to take it because they need a lot of seniors to keep the program going.

    This month it was apples, potatoes and oranges. The oranges look like they’re from someone’s back yard tree, which is likely. Also very likely they are organic, but I will still give them a good scrubbing.

    So I’ll be preserving oranges. I imagine I can use pepper and cloves just like this recipe but I will look around on the internet.

  3. I love preserved citrus, I did a bunch of limes a year ago and I used salt and partially cracked Coriander seeds. They are so good I just eat them out of the jar.

  4. Omgoodness! I can put a preserved lemon on anything I swear. Think capers. Salty, slightly acidic, mildly bitter in a good way bite. I rinse them off a little first then chop up fine and toss into green salad or tuna etc. I can’t wait to try the grapefruit.

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