Preserved Lemons are a wonderful addition to many recipes. A staple in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine, they have become a more popular ingredient, adding a lovely and unique citrus flavor to chicken, fish, vegetables, rice and, my favorite, couscous dishes.
Since I came home from California with a huge bag of lemons from my mother and step-father’s lemon tree, and I didn’t have time to use them all before leaving for my trip to Paris, I packed them into canning jars so they could sit while I was gone.
A week after I returned from my trip, I had two beautiful jars of preserved lemons!
How do I use preserved lemons?
Once the lemons are pickled, you can use them in just about any savory dish calling for lemons. Mince them and add them to salad dressing, pasta, rice, vegetable, and couscous dishes for an extra hit of tangy flavor, or slip the lemons under the skin of chicken before roasting.
I have heard that they can be used in sweet recipes as well, even alcoholic drinks, although I still need to explore those options!
- 6-8 lemons
- ½ - 1 cup kosher salt
- Thoroughly wash lemons.
- Cut each lemon lengthwise in half, but only cutting ¾ of the way down, keeping the lemon attached at the base (do not cut all the way through).
- Then make another cut, as if you were cutting the lemons into quarters, again, not cutting all the way through.
- Open the lemon and sprinkle a tablespoon of salt into the lemon.
- Place the lemon into a sterilized jar and press down firmly, releasing most of the juice.
- Repeat with the rest of the lemons, packing the jar with the lemons and there juice.
- Close the jar and store at room temperature for one week, giving it a shake and a turn upside-down each day.
- After one week, place the jar in the refrigerator for two more weeks, giving it a shake every day or two.
- After 3 weeks the lemons are ready to use in recipes where lemons are called for.
To use, pull a lemon out of the jar and rinse the salt off. Some people only use the peel, but I use the pulp as well. The lemons will last for up to a year if refrigerated.