Preserved Lemons

I have wanted to make preserved lemons ever since I first saw this idea in a library copy of the The Nourished Kitchen. While there is something a little weird about salting fruit, the preserved lemon flavor is supposed to be amazing, and I love the idea of being able to use the whole fruit, skin and all. Plus, you can keep it on your counter for months and months. Don’t you just love fermentation? Anyway, my favorite grocery store had bags of Meyer lemons for sale, so I decided it was time for a little experiment. If you’ve never run into Meyer lemons, they are the regular lemon’s sweeter little cousin. They are a tasty cross between the mandarin orange and the lemon that are especially suitable for making preserved lemons because their peel is more tender. I ended up using this article by the daring gourmet as a guideline. It also has fantastic ideas for using the preserved lemons in recipes. Sadly, my lemons are not quite preserved enough yet. But in only a few more weeks they should be ready for some new recipes! 🙂

Note: I found some other recipes as well that used lemon juice instead of water to submerge the lemons. These preserved lemon recipes use less salt. Whenever I try it the other way, I’ll let you know what I think.


4 Meyer lemons
1 pint jar
Water (boil and allow to cool down before using)

Step 1

Thoroughly wash/scrub the lemons.

Step 2

Sterilize the jar and lid by pouring boiling water into it before use.

Step 3

Trim the ends off the lemons and cut into them crosswise, leaving the quarters attached at one end (about an inch).


Step 4

Put one teaspoon of salt into the bottom of the pint jar. Sprinkle another teaspoon of salt into a lemon and layer it into the jar cut side down. Press down to release the juice.

Step 5

Repeat Step 4, alternately layering a tea spoon of salt and a salted lemon. Top the last lemon with a final teaspoon of salt.

Step 6

Top everything with water so that the lemons are all submerged. Put the lid on the jar and shake to help the salt dissolve.


Step 7

Wait about 4 weeks, shaking the jar periodically. After this time, the lemons are ready to use. After 4 weeks of fermentation, lemons can be stored either in the refrigerator or at room temperature. The lemons should be fine to use for up to 6 months.

Tip: Make sure to rinse the lemons before use, to wash off some of the salt. The peel of the lemon is the main star in preserved lemons, though what is left of the pulp can also be used if the accompanying liquid isn’t a problem in the recipe.
Serving suggestions: Use minced lemons as a bright accent in salads or soups (add at the end, don’t cook!), on chicken, or fish, etc. Use the liquid in salad dressings.

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