Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons


I had been wanting to try a Moroccan tagine with preserved lemons for a while but I was not able to as I could not find the preserved lemons anywhere. When I saw that lemons were plentiful and cheap at the grocery stores I thought that it was finally time to just try to make my own lemon preserves. Luckily the preserved lemons turned out to be really easy to make. You pretty much just cut them open, salt them heavily, pack them in a jar and wait. While looking for recipes for the preserved lemons I came across a variety that included spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, etc. For my first batch I decided to just stick with the basic preserved lemons and not worry about which spices to use. Some recipes called for waiting up to 2 months for the lemons to do their thing but others said that 3 weeks would be enough. One rule of thumb that I came across was that they would be ready when the white pith was no longer white. I was a bit impatient and I decided that the pith was no longer white and cracked open one of the jars just after the three week mark and I made the tagine with preserved lemons. I quite liked the preserved lemons! The rind had softened up nicely and it had a really nice texture. Of course the preserved lemons retained their lemony good flavour. Now I am looking forward to enjoying my preserved lemons and I am also thinking that I am going to have to make a spiced batch to try as well.

Preserved Lemons

(1 quart/1 liter preserved lemons)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
8 lemons (washed and dried)
1/2 cup sea salt or kosher salt or canning salt
sterilized 1 quart jar

Directions
1. Pour 2 tablespoon salt into the bottom of the jar.
2. Cut the tip and the ends from the lemons exposing some of the white pith.
3. Quarter the lemons from top to bottom stopping just before the end leaving the quarters attached.
4. Generously sprinkle salt all over the inside of the lemons.
5. Pack the lemons into the jar so tight that the juice is squeezed from them and fills up the jar.
6. Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for three days, flipping every once in a while.
7. Move the jar to the fridge and let sit for a minimum of three weeks, flipping every once in a while.
8. Rinse the preserved lemons and remove the pulp before slicing or chopping the rind for use in your dish.

Use in:
Green Olive and Preserved Lemon Tapenade
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons
Fiddlehead Shrimp Scampi
Moroccan Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Quinoa Tagine

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a recipe using preserved lemons. I have made this sumerous times and we really like it.
Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemons
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Israeli-Couscous-with-Roasted-Butternut-Squash-and-Preserved-Lemon-102250

Luisa Vacaville

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I've been wanting to try this for some time.Yours turned out great.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for this, your blog is looking great--I like the changes! And I haven't had luck with this before, so I'll try yours--this and the tagine, look fabulous!

Julie said...

Can't wait to see all the things your make out of these!

Street Foodie said...

I've been meaning to preserve some lemons for a while but have never got round to it, will have to give it a go!

Nina Timm said...

I have lemons, I have jar, I have arecipes...nothing is stopping me now....I'm on my way to the kitchen!!

Ammu said...

First time to ur blog. It looks awesome. Nice informative entry.

Sophie said...

Thanks a lot for this beaty of a recipe, Kevin!!
I just wanted to ask if you preserved your lemons yourself! So, now I have some work to do,....!!!

Jessica said...

I thought I'd share another recipe with you as well -

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/saffron-chicken-boiled-lemon-and-green-bean-salad-recipe/index.html

Culinary Cory said...

Great idea. I wonder if preserved lemons would make for a unique twist on a lemon drink.

Pam said...

Those are so pretty! I like just looking at them.

Cookin' Canuck said...

Thank you for this recipe! I often have difficulties finding preserved lemons as well, but it has never occurred to me to make my own.

Netts Nook said...

Thanks for sharing they look great.

Chris said...

Thanks for the post - I am on week 3 (I think - now I can't even remember) of making preserved lemons and was wondering how to tell when they were done.

I also wonder - how can you tell if they've gone bad? This whole preserving thing is making me nervous!

Natashya said...

Wonderful, Kevin! This is something I have always wanted to make.

Gloria said...

Nice,nice Kevin and a wonderful recipe!!! thanks Gloria

Anonymous said...

I have kept them for a year. If they have mold you can scrape it off if you are bold. Or just toss it. By then it's lemon season again and you can make a new batch! I have one new (full jar) batch now and one from last year that is still good.
Jessica: thanks for the additional recipe!
Luisa Vacaville

La Table De Nana said...

I recently made these also and will never be without!
My friend/neighbour used them for a lovely pepper salad that I have been making ever since.Yours look great!

Marta said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe with us! I can't wait to see your spiced preserved lemons and what other things you do with them :)

unconfidential cook said...

Thanks for this--the tangine looks fantastic!!! I can't wait to see all the yummy things you're going to make with them.

Kati said...

I love how you worded step 5.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I always have homemade preserved lemons in the fridge; they're a great substitute for capers in many dishes. One thing I would recommend, tho, is to swap those metal lids for plastic ones (you can buy them in stores where canning jars are sold). The metal will corrode from the acid in the lemon juice, and will impart an off flavor to your lemons.

Cakebrain said...

These look like a good thing to have on hand in your cupboard! yummy!

Heather said...

those sound just delicious! i definitely want to try them! when i was in morocco, i had the chicken and lemon tagine every night. it was my favorite!!! so delicious :)

Holler said...

Well I have to say, that is so easy and handy to know!

Amber said...

I just wanted to tell you that I love reading your food blogs! You always have yummy looking recipes. Thanks for your ideas. :-)

haleysuzanne said...

I'm convinced. I've got to make some of these. My passion for lemons can stand it no longer.

Karen said...

I love to do fun things like this... and I suppose the preserved lemons can be used in so many ways. I'm going to look into some recipes!

Anticiplate said...

I was really wanting to make the moroccan chicken with preserved lemons! I am so impressed that you actually preserved your own. Wow.

Tangled Noodle said...

Thanks for this recipe! I haven't tried looking for any preserved lemons at the store but this looks so easy to do at home.

homecooked said...

Looks really good. Something different :)

Jamie said...

Very cool! We easily find preserved lemons here in France at the marketplace and hubby makes both fish and chicken tagines with preserved lemons (and lemon-scented green olives, which is traditional). Yet we have so wanted to try preserving our own. This is definitely a must-try!

noobcook said...

looks fantastic and I luv the bright cheery yellow hue.

sami lucas said...

I'm looking forward to trying this.

angela@spinachtiger said...

I saw something similar to preserved lemons (lemons confit) in the Tribeca Grill cookbook. Both are intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Jeni Q said...

The Joy of Cooking has a recipe for Greek Preserved Salted Lemons. I love this recipe, but find it to be a bit of a labor of love. Too much work for lazy me.
So I was *delighted* to discover a jar of preserved lemons at my local Middle Eastern store for the low, low price of $3.99. Now I can eat one whenever I want!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Culinary Cory

Just came across your reply this year.

I am a chinese from malaysia, lived in NZ, for the first time I have the chance to try preserved lemon when my bf made some.

I love to use it to make juice especially in summer, just cut small piece of the lemon, add honey and fresh lemon juice and top with ice cubes, voila, the best drink for summer. We have something similar back home hence it doesn't taste weird to me, but my bf doesn't like it at all. In addition, we drink a lot of it when we have sorethroat, but normally serve it warm. Hope that you get to see this reply.

Organic lemons said...

Kevin,
Thank you very much for sharing this preserved lemons recipe. I too am impressed that make your own preserved lemons. One question I have is this, does it matter what kind of lemons you use? Lisbon lemons? Eureka lemons? Would Meyer lemons work?

Buckets of good cheer to you,
Megan

Kevin said...

Megan I normally use lisbon or eureka lemons but the last batch I made with meyer lemons and they turned out quite nicely!

JM said...

Hello - I live in Venezuela. We don't get the big yellow lemons, just "limones" which are really limes, smaller and green. Would they work? or do you think the taste would be too strong?

Anahi said...

I have a question? don't these come out bitter?.....thanks!...and by the way you have great recipes!!!

Kevin Lynch said...

JM: They would not be the same but I am sure that they would be good!

Kevin Lynch said...

Anahi: You normally only use the rind/skin and not the pith or the brine so it is not bitter at all. It can be a bit salty but you can easily rinse the excess salt off leaving a super tender rind with an amazing lemon flavour.

schmooette said...

I have been looking to try preserved lemons, so thanks for the recipe! I will probably try a smaller jar.

Do you need to use a special type of salt? like canning salt or kosher salt... or can you use iodized table salt.

Kevin Lynch said...

schmooette: Sea salt, kosher or canning salt is best. Enjoy!

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