Preserved Lemons

One of the staples I always have on hand is 2 or 3 jars of homemade preserved lemons. If you haven’t got into the versatility of preserved lemons, albeit they are such a key ingredient in tagines, then you really should start to experiment, as they go so well with grilled fish or chicken and give stuffing such a boost. There is always an abundance of lemons on my tree, but if you don’t have one (you should) then walk around your neighbourhood and find someone with a loaded tree. I’m sure if you knock at the door, they will willingly let you have 6 or so. This recipe makes about 3 x 2-cup jars.

Preserved lemons


6 thin-skinned lemons

3/4 cup sea salt

3 dried bay leaves

3 cinnamon sticks

15 black peppercorns

15 coriander seeds

12 whole cloves

8-10 lemons, juiced, extra

Wash lemons in cold water and scrub with a brush to remove any wax. Cut lemons into quarters lengthways, taking care not to cut right through at base. Spoon 1 tablespoon of salt into each lemon and rub in. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt into the base of each jar. Use glass jars with glass lids. Place lemons into the jars, fitting tightly.
Add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, coriander seeds and cloves to the jars. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt over the lemons. Fill jars to the top with lemon juice. Secure lid and turn jars upside down to combine ingredients. Store in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks to preserve.
To use
To check to see if your preserved lemons are ready, remove one wedge with a fork from the jar. Remove pulp from the skin. If the pith is still white, reseal and store for another week.
To use the preserved lemons, remove pith from the lemon skin with a shall sharp knife, discard the pulp and wash the skin under cold water. Thinly slice or finely dice. When you remove lemon wedges from the jar, cover remaining with olive oil, which prevents mould from forming and the lemons from drying out. Return to refrigerator once opened.




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