My Recipe Box

Preserved Lemons


Yields 1 pint

Preserved lemons add a salty zing to Moroccan dishes like the Tangy Fish Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Vegetables. They’re available in some supermarkets, but it’s also easy to make your own. The only hard part is waiting 4 weeks for them to be ready to use. 

more about:
  • 6 to 7 small organic lemons, well scrubbed
  • 1-7/8 oz. kosher salt (1/3 cup Diamond Crystal or 1/4 cup Morton’s)

Sterilize a pint-size canning jar in boiling water or run it through the dishwasher to sterilize.

Cut 4 of the lemons lengthwise into 6 wedges each and remove the seeds. Put about 1 Tbs. of salt in the jar and put 6wedges on top. Press down on the wedges with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon to partially juice and compact them. Repeat in layers with the remaining lemon wedges and salt. Squeeze enough juice from the remaining lemons to cover the lemons in the jar. Close the jar with the lid.

Keep at room temperature for 4 weeks, inverting the jar about once a day to mix the salt and juice, and adding more fresh lemon juice as necessary to keep the lemons covered. After 4 weeks, they’re ready to use. Rinse the lemons thoroughly before using. The peel and flesh are both edible. Store refrigerated for up to a year.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 5, Fat (kcal): 0, Fat Calories (g): 0, Saturated Fat (g): 0, Protein (g): 0, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0, Carbohydrates (mg): 3, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0, Sodium (g): 115, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I love preserved lemon, and this is the best version I have tried. Super-easy, and the pint volume makes a lot more sense than the quart-sized recipes elsewhere. A little preserved lemon goes a long way! This will be my go to recipe.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More