Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

Not much else to say except: this has become a staple in both of our kitchens and we are pretty sure it will become a staple in yours, too!  An instant classic that will elevate countless dishes (and drinks)!

Makes 1 quart


6 – 7 unwaxed lemons

7 tablespoons kosher salt

¼ to ½ cup lemon juice


Sterilize a glass quart-size jar and lid with boiling water, drain on a clean tea towel.

Cut lemons, lengthwise, into quarters leaving the bottom ends connected.

Put 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of the sterilized glass jar.  Place the first lemon into the jar with the bottom, attached end, downward. Pour another tablespoon of salt inside the quartered lemon.

Continue with the remaining lemons, placing a tablespoon of salt inside each one, and pressing the lemons firmly down each time so they are tightly squeezed together.

End with a tablespoon of salt on the top.  Add the lemon juice as needed to fill in any voids, leaving a ½ -inch of space at the top.  Screw on the top and shake the jar to distribute the salt. Place the jar in a cool, dry place to ferment. The lemons do not require refrigeration at this stage.

Each day or two, for the next 30 days, shake the jar to redistribute the salt. After a few days, the lemons may settle and can be “topped off” with additional lemon juice. The lemons will be ready to use after 30 days.

The preserved lemons can be kept for up to a year unopened in the pantry, and up to 6 months in the refrigerator after opening.

To use the lemons, rinse well to remove excess salt.  The pulp may be used in sauces and stews, and whole lemons rinsed and stuffed into a roasting chicken. The softened rind, thinly sliced, may be added to dressings, salads, meat, fish, and chicken recipes.