Preserved Lemon

lemons with salt
preserved lemons photo by carmen troesser

This is a recipe with a very high return on investment. Ridiculously simple to prepare, preserved lemon is the perfect combination of sharp citrus and salt to complement pasta, cheese and soups.


4 to 5 lemons
½ cup kosher salt, divided
5 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf


• Sterilize a 1-quart canning jar or glass container with a tight-fitting lid by washing thoroughly and rinsing with boiling water. 

• Wash the lemons thoroughly and cut ¼ inch off each end. Place the lemons upright on a board and cut so they are almost quartered, but are still connected at one end. 

• Gently spread open the wedges, and sprinkle the lemons inside and out with the salt. 

• One at a time, place the lemons cut side down into the jar, pressing to release the juice. The lemons should be submerged. If there isn’t enough liquid, remove the last lemon and add all its juice to the jar. 

• Add the peppercorns, bay leaf and the remaining salt to the jar, and close the lid. 

• Let the jar sit at room temperature 3 days, turning the jar upside down a couple times each day, then refrigerate 3 weeks, turning the jar upside down on occasion.

• Preserved lemon can be stored, refrigerated, up to 6 months. They will be a slightly firm to a jelly-like texture. To use, rinse under cold water, remove any pulp or seeds, and slice or chop as directed. 

Tags : Lemon