Preserved lemons

How to make preserved lemons

This is a good place to start if you haven't preserved before and have lots of lemons.

It is so easy it barely calls for a recipe. I only use a few jars a year, and they will store unopened in the pantry for 2 years. They do make a pretty gift so I always make a few extra.

Pick your lemons. Rinse in cold water. Keep the best for preserving, cutting into quarters, or smaller wedges if the lemon is large. Place a pile of sea salt on a plate. Sterilise your jars in boiling water. Coat each wedge in salt and pack tightly into the jars. Cover completely with lemon juice. Add a few peppercorns and a bay leaf or piece of rosemary (optional). Seal and leave in a cupboard for at least a month, a few is better. Shake occasionally over the first couple of weeks to dissolve the salt. Once open, keep them in the fridge. The older they get the more gelatinous the liquid around the lemon wedge will become - it is normal.

A glass jar with a plastic lid is ideal for this recipe, as over time the salt will corrode a metal lid. Don't worry too much, it will still work without, so if you have a cupboard full of old jars just recycle one of those.  

To use preserved lemon, simply rinse a piece under water, discarding the lemon flesh. You only use the peel.

Preserved lemon is refreshing in its flavour, with a greater depth and less acidity than fresh lemon. The flavour works well as a zingy preserved lemon salad dressing over salad greens, grilled zucchini, steamed asparagus or boiled potatoes.