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Best Recipe For Preserved Lemons

Updated on March 8, 2014

Recipe For Preserved Lemons

This recipe for preserved lemons will give you preserved lemons with a soft skin and a deliciously mellower, yet tangy, flavour which provides a unique taste when used in dishes such as stews, sauces, salads, salsas and vinaigrettes.

Preserving lemons in salt is a tradition in the Middle East and North Africa and is one of the widely used ingredients in Moroccan cuisine in dishes such as tagines.

Ingredients you will need to make up the recipe for preserved lemons

This recipe for preserved lemons will make about 1lb, enough to fill a small preserving jar

4 lemons (unwaxed)

4 oz coarse sea salt

Juice of 2 extra lemons

Spices (optional)

  • a few bay leaves
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 dried chilli
  • A few cloves, or coriander seeds, or cumin seeds

Preserved Lemons Make A Nice Homemade Gift

make double the quantity of preserved lemons and pack them in a nice jar to make an original homemade gift, perfect for the food enthusiast.

preserved lemons
preserved lemons

Method Used To Make The Preserved Lemons

Take a sharp knife and make a cut to about 2/3 the depth of a lemon. Make a similar cut at right angles to the first cut, so that the lemon is cut into approximate quarters but joined at the base.

Repeat for the other 3 lemons.

Open out the cuts of the lemons slightly and fill the cuts with the coarse sea salt.

Pack the lemons into a sterilised preserving jar.

If you are using the spices sprinkle these in (the spices can look good if you are making the preserved lemons as a gift), then add any remaining salt to the jar.

Pour the lemon juice into the jar. If the lemon juice doesn't quite fill the jar, top it up with water that has been boiled and cooled.

Seal the jar and leave at room temperature for at least 4 weeks before using, turning the jar upside down from time to time to distribute the juice and salt.

The preserved lemons should keep for around 6 to 9 months if refrigerated.

Before using your preserved lemons

rinse the lemons and discard the flesh, or it will taste too salty. You only need to use the skin in your recipes to get the flavour.

Your preserved lemons will then be ready to use in stews or tagines. The finely chopped preserved lemon skin is also good when added sparingly to couscous and salads.

Recipes With Preserved Lemons

See here if you need some ideas for recipes using preserved lemons or how to use preserved lemons


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      DecoratingMom411 4 years ago

      Thank you for the recipe. It is very easy to follow.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great, I did not know you can preserve lemons. I freeze mine. Have a wonderful New Year.