Preserved Lemons

November 15, 2013

preserved lemons

If you have never tasted a Moroccan dish made with preserved lemons you are in for a delicious treat, and if you have (like our lemon chicken), this is the recipe you’ve been waiting for! Make sure to plan in advance, the lemons need to sit for about 4 weeks.

10-14 Thin-skinned seasonal lemons
Rock salt
Large storage jar (1 x 2 liter or 2 x 1 liter)


Prepare the storage jar: 
The size of the jars does not have to be an exact science, if you have some large jars lying around you can use those, you just need ones big enough to hold lemons. Preheat the oven to 120ºC/235ºF, wash the jar and rinse in hot water. Place the jar in the oven for 20 minutes. Do not towel dry.

Prepare the lemons: 
1. If you can only find waxed lemons you’ll need to scrub them in warm water with a soft brush to get the wax off. Ideally purchase unwaxed lemons, your local farmer’s market may be the best source for this.
2. Wash lemons
3. Cut them from one end into quarters to about two thirds of the way down the lemon. Looking from the top you should have an X that you can pry open a little bit, the lemons should still be in one whole piece.
4. Insert 1 tablespoon of salt into the lemons, repeat this for 8-12 lemons depending on size of lemons and jar.

Fill jar
1. Insert prepared, salted, lemon into jar
2. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of salt
3. Repeat till jar is packed tightly with lemons
4. Add the juice of one of your remaining, unprepared, lemons to each jar
5. Fill jar with cooled, boiled water
6. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks.
7. Gently shake the jar daily for the first week to help the salt dissolve and distribute. Any cloudiness should clear after a week.

Lemons will keep for 6 months or more, but refrigerate once opened.

How to prepare preserved lemons for cooking
1. Remove the lemons you want to use with a clean fork.
2. Separate the lemon into quarters and rinse under running water
3. Remove the pulp and discard
4. Rinse the rind, pat dry and use as directed.

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