How to Make Preserved Lemons

How to make preserved lemons. If you thought that making preserves was a time-consuming procedure or too fiddly, these are so quick that you could almost knock them up during an ad break (unless you’re watching Netflix, in which case, sorry, you’ll just have to hit pause). Well, almost.

Preserved Lemons are the perfect condiment with Moroccan or African flavoured dishes. They also spritz up a summer salad a treat and are wonderful with baked tofu. Not only are they versatile but they are so easy to make.

Take 4 lemons (or as I did 2 as I only had one of those stumpy little Kilner type jars in the cupboard), slice lengthways into quarters but leaving them joined at the stem end, in other words so you can open them up with your fingers like a flower but so they stay in one piece. Take a cup of maldon salt and add the salt with the lemons to a large bowl. Open the lemons up and fill up with the salt, making sure you get in between each cut edge. Close them up as tightly as you can and put into the jar with the remaining salt.

Add the juice of two lemons, a Cinnamon stick, a Bay Leaf a couple of whole cloves and seal tightly in your sterilised jar. Shake well to amalgamate. For the next week, store in a cool dry place and shake once a day. After this, place the jar of lemons into a fridge for four weeks. After this time they will then be ready to use. The lemons will keep in the fridge for about 6 months. Remember to rinse them before use. A real taste of summer!

What Do Preserved Lemons Taste Like?

As you would imagine, very tangy, but without the bitter zest flavour that comes with raw lemons. The salt somehow softens the flavour, without removing the essential flavour.

How Do I Use Preserved Lemons?

A little goes a long way. Try:

  • Chopping up a small amount and stirring it through cous cous or rice
  • Sprinkling tacos to freshen up the flavour
  • Make a zesty lemon and white bean soup
  • Stir finely chopped preserved lemons into salad dressing
  • Add to a simple pasta dish along with olive oil and chilli flakes
  • Stir a little through Bombay Aloo
  • Freshen up a Pea and Broad Bean Pesto
  • Pep up a simple vegan mayo
How to Make Preserved Lemons

How to Make Preserved Lemons

5 from 49 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Pickles, Preserved Lemons
Prep Time: 3 minutes
7 days
Total Time: 7 days 3 minutes

Equipment

  • Sterilised Kilner Jar

Ingredients

  • 6 Lemons (note: 2 of these you just require the juice)
  • 1 cup Maldon (or sea) Salt
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 5 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick

Instructions

  • Slice four of your lemons lengthways into quarters but leaving them joined at the stem end, in other words so you can open them up with your fingers like a flower but so they stay in one piece. Place in a large bowl.
  • Juice the remaining two lemons and set the juice to one side
  • Open the lemons up and fill up with the salt, making sure you get in between each cut edge.
  • Close them up as tightly as you can and put into the jar with any remaining salt.
  • Add the juice of two lemons, a Cinnamon stick, a Bay Leaf a couple of whole cloves and seal tightly in your sterilised jar. Shake well to amalgamate.
  • For the next week, store in a cool dry place and shake once a day. After this, place the jar of lemons into a fridge for four weeks. After this time they will then be ready to use. The lemons will keep in the fridge for about 6 months.
Tried this recipe? Mention @sweeterthanoats or tag #sweeterthanoats!
How to Make Preserved Lemons
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Join the Conversation

  1. Amanda Dixon says:

    5 stars
    These lemons look so refreshing! I just whipped up a batch and can’t wait to try them. The spices add such a nice fragrance as well.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never seen preserved lemons. Looks great!

  3. 5 stars
    This is awesome! We have been planning to make Preserved Lemons at home and this would be perfect.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for the clear directions! What a great way to enjoy lemons!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this!! Tried it with my lemons!

  6. 5 stars
    My lemon tree has gone absolutely crazy this year and I can’t even give them away as there so much and everyone else’s tree also full. So I’m looking for ways to use them up and I came across this recipe. What a fantastic idea! They make great gifts too so you’ve helped me use up the last of my lemons and I did about 8 jars worth. Can’t wait until they are ready to eat.

  7. 5 stars
    Yes!! I’ve been meaning to make preserved lemons recently, great reminder and I’ll be using this recipe 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    This really is a super quick & easy to make. I can’t wait to try them!

  9. 5 stars
    This is the first time I’ve seen preserved lemons! I love it! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    These preserved lemons turned out great and were so easy to make. I’ll definitely be using it in my pasta and salads. Thanks for all the ideas!

  11. Olga Veiga says:

    5 stars
    Freya, it seems to me so easy thanks to this post! Love this!

  12. 5 stars
    Usually, I keep the lemons in the freezer, but I don’t like the bitterness that intensifies when they thaw. I must try your method; I just need to get a few jars.

  13. 5 stars
    Fantastic idea! I love it!

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