Preserved Lemons

by Daisy


Preserved lemons add a clear lemon flavor to all kinds of dishes, from tagines to couscous to stewed chicken or fish.  They aren’t difficult at all to make, and they can add a touch of exotic flavor to everyday dinners.

To make it easy on myself, I start with a 2 lb bag of ordinary lemons.  My bag contained 10 lemons. Use organic if you can find them.

1. Scrub and dry.  Roll on a counter to release the juices.

2.  Cut into the center of the lemon, all the way to the other side, without cutting through either end.  Make your cut extend to about half and inch from either end.  Sorry about the jagged thumbnail.  I have gardener’s hands.

3.  Rotate the lemon 90 degrees and make another cut like the first one.  It will look like this from either end:

4.  Squeeze the juice from the lemon.  Do this to all the lemons.

5.  Put a teaspoon of kosher or sea salt in the cavity of each lemon:

6.  Place a tablespoon of the salt in a quart jar, preferably with a wide mouth.  Pack the squeezed lemons into the jar.  They should all fit if you squeezed them well.

7.  Strain the collected lemon juice into the jar, pushing the lemons down to squeeze out the air pockets.  You should have enough lemon juice to cover the lemons completely.

8.  Cap and leave the lemons at room temperature for three weeks.  Turn the jar upside down occasionally to distribute the brine.  The lemon rind will soften and be ready for use after the three weeks are up.  Refrigerate at this time.  To use, remove the amount you need for your recipe and replace the jar in the fridge.  The lemons will keep for months.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

laura December 6, 2011 at 10:39 am

Could you make lemonade with this??

Tomato Lady December 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

laura–Hm. Probably too salty for lemonade, but I bet a slice of it would be a good garnish for a grown-up person’s lemonade. It’s sometimes used in cocktails if that gives you any ideas.

Sarah December 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Did you get this from Nourished Kitchen? Yummy!

Tomato Lady December 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Sarah–I’m not surprised they have it over there, but this is adapted from a Sheila Lukins recipe from a long time ago. Have you made it?

Nolita December 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

This looks like something I can do and would use so thank you for sharing. Do you have any recipes that you use the lemons in specifically? Thanks, again!

Tomato Lady December 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm
lostartofsimpleliving January 13, 2012 at 10:24 am

oh, man. This is perfect. I have a bag in the fridge that I didn’t know what to do with….AWESOME!

Tomato Lady January 13, 2012 at 10:29 am

lost art–I chopped some up in tuna salad the other day. Best TS I ever tasted.

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings June 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog today and every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings

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