Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Preserved Lemons - so simple to make at home.

I have a few cookbooks, many on different cuisines as you take a gastronomic trip around the world.
Going through different cooking phases, Preserved Lemons crop up in many Middle Eastern recipes.

How pretty is this on your pantry shelf!

The first time I was given a jar of preserved lemons, no one told me to discard the flesh.
They were really bitter.

These are funny looking specimens.

However, the preserved lemon rind is delicious.

Finely chopped and added to a mozzarella, tomato and olive salad with a lemony dressing,
or slow cooked in a delicious sauce with roasted lamb.

Preserved Lemons

Ideally use organic, unwaxed lemons.

8 lemons, washed and dried
1 1/2 cup fine sea salt
1 cinnamon stick
3 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
1 extra lemon, juiced
2 cups boiling water, approximately.

Large glass jar with a tight fitting lid, sterilised.

Cut lemons vertically into quarters but not the whole way through, just so that they open outwards.
Pack the lemons with salt and place into the bottom of the jar, pushing them together so they fit snugly and with no gaps.   Pour some salt on top of the bottom layer, add half of the spices, then lay the remaining lemons on top.  Cover with salt, add the remaining spices and cinnamon stick. 
Squeeze over the juice of one lemon and cover the lot with boiling water.  You do not want the lemon protruding above the liquid.
Seal, label, then place into a dark corner of the pantry for one month.

When using, remove the lemon, taking out how much you require and rinse in fresh water.
Discard the flesh and any pith then finely chop the rind to use in many recipes.

Bon appetito, enjoy Merryn


  1. I just made a batch of these this week too! I was just inundated with lemons. I'll gift them to friends as there are so many!

  2. It is the time of year for lemons, and how lovely of you to make them for friends Lorraine.

  3. I couldn't believe how simple it was to preserve lemons. After looking at the price sticker on store bought preserved lemons I figured it had to be tricky.

  4. Yes, you can pay too much for a little labour. They last for years in the brine :D

  5. These are so yummy aren't they! I just wish my lemon tree would condescend to fruit for me :( I haven't stopped hoping, but in the interim they're a good price at the moment so I can whip up a batch of your preserved lemons for myself :)

  6. They are delicious and full of goodness. You are lucky to be able to purchase them at a good price, I go past the tree and count $1 here, $1 there and many dollars everywhere. They always seem expensive here and we are in the country!