Preserved Lemons…the Beginning



I heard about preserved lemons on a cooking show a few weekends back and felt motivated to try them.  Basically, you put lemons and salt in a jar with lots of lemon juice and let it sit for one month.  My kind of recipe!!  The radio talk show host discussed in length all the different things you could do with preserved lemons and the juice: marinades, salad dressings, sauces, sprinkle it on chicken or potatoes, etc.  I was intrigued and decided to try it.  I found many recipes on how to construct this apparently life changing stuff, and in the end went with this one from the radio show that I was listening to when I first heard of them.  I liked the idea of “sil gris” (or gray sea salt) over regular salt.  Made me feel special to use such a fancy ingredient (doesn’t take much to impress me!).  My dad picked this up at All Spice for me…$8 for a big bag (I used about half).Lemons4

I did not add the optional Juniper Berries because I have no idea what they are or where to get them….and I didn’t want them to go to waste should this incredibly simple recipe not turn out how I hope (which may very well be the case – since I am one of those “the easier it is, the more likely I am to mess it up” people).  So far, preserved lemons = easy as can be!

Step 1: Wash lemons.

Lemons1Step 2: Cut the tips off the lemons.

Lemons2Step 3: Cut each lemon into quarters lengthwise, leaving them attached at one end.

Lemons3Step 4: Pack lemons with salt (sel gris if you prefer to feel fancy).

Lemons5Step 5: Cram them into a jar and fill with lemon juice until lemons are covered. Seal jar.


Step 6: Wait 4 weeks, agitating daily and adding more juice, should the lemons become exposed.

*tick tock tick tock*

My note on this recipe so far are this:

1) Get more than 8 lemons if you use the same side jar that I did.  I crammed about 8 lemons in the jar, but used the juice of another 5 lemons to fill the jar.

2) Pick lemons that are more long and narrow than round and fat.  I had a hard time getting mine into the jar, so I cut some of them in half and shoved them in.  I hope this doesn’t completely ruin the whole thing! (But how could it really?)

4) If you have any little cuts on your hands for whatever reason, you might want to slap on a pair of rubber gloves first!

Anyone ever cooked with this stuff before?  I’m dying to hear some first hand accounts. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Preserved Lemons…the Beginning

  1. I tried this once. I only tried them in one dish, a lamb tagine type thing and they made the whole thing too salty so I guess if I used them again I’d rinse them first. I’ve since noticed that the ones in the shops use tiny lemons, which probably makes them easier to get into a jar. Hope you enjoy yours.

  2. Overly salty food sounds no good…I’ll heed your advice and rinse first. Thanks!! In the mean time, at least I look extremely culinary with this jar sitting on my counter! 😉

Leave A Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s