Friday, June 1, 2012

Preserved Lemons

Today, I was suppose to be posting about the recipe "Lentil, Lemon and Tuna Salad" for French Fridays With Dorie.  What stopped me was I did not  have and could not find a jar of  Preserved Lemons.  Let me tell you, I got some strange expressions when I was asking for Preserved Lemons at various food stores.  I finally decided I would make my own.

Preserved Lemons are lemons pickled in salt and their own juice.  They are not hard to make.  All you need is lemons, salt,  and a quart canning jar with a top. You can add various spices to your lemons if you wish, but I decided to make the basic ones.   What takes awhile is  letting the lemons "ripen."  It takes  30 days for the lemons to be ready.  You need to be sure to shake the jar everyday to distribute the salt and juice.   They last up to 6 months in the refrigerator.

Preserved Lemons

Special Equipment:  1 quart jar sterilized  with top


5 lemons
1/4 cup Kosher salt, more if desired


1. Quarter the lemons from the top to within  1/2 inch of the bottom.  Sprinkle salt on the exposed flesh, then reshape the fruit.

2. Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of the quart jar.  Pack in the lemons and push them down adding more salt between the layers.  Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons.  If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them add freshly squeezed lemon juice.  It is important that lemon juice covers the fruit.

4. Seal the jar.   Let the lemons ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice.  Let ripen for 30 days.

5. To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pulp, if desired.  Store in the refrigerator up to 6 months.


  1. I have been meaning to make myself preserved lemons for ages. You've made it look really simple, so now I have no excuse!

  2. Sadly I have a jar that I bought, which is probably less tasty and more expensive. I need to start really looking at making more ingredients from scratch. This does look easy enough. Have a great weekend!

  3. Geri, I could not find them anywhere either so, I just used lemon zest. Now I will have to make some for myself!! Thanks for posting this…it looks like a fun project! Have a great weekend!

  4. Wow, Geri, you made preserved lemons? I took the easy way out and ordered them from Amazon...and thank goodness they arrived just in time for me to make the salad. Can't wait to hear how you like them :)

  5. I used a shortcut to approximate them for yesterday's recipe, but actually making them would be much better. Looking forward to hearing about them when they're done!