I can’t believe I’ve never shared a how-to post for preserved lemons. These are THE ingredient that makes Moroccan cuisine what it is. A Moroccan pantry simply cannot exist without a jar of preserved lemons. Most often they are used in tajines though you will also find them in salads and fish dishes. The reason I’ve never shared a recipe is pretty simple. I’ve never had to make the lemons. We usually get a giant jar from my mother-in-law when we’re returning from Morocco and they last me until our next trip. I know that not everyone is this fortunate so today I’m sharing a very easy way to make preserved lemons. The hardest part might be the few weeks you have to wait to use them!
Really those are all of the ingredients. Lemons, salt, and a tight sealing glass container. I recommend using organic lemons and sea salt but you can really use any lemon and any salt – even table salt. You will want to really scrub the lemons well and dry them off. Be sure to also clean out the glass jar with hot, soapy water and dry completely before adding the lemons and salt.
After you’ve gathered your ingredients begin by cutting a lemon. You will want to cut through the skin but DO NOT cut all the way through. Cut in half the other way, again taking care not to cut through the lemon. You can leave it in 1/4 slices or you can cut diagonally to create 8 segments. I can not stress enough that the lemon should remain whole, just cut down to one side. Squeeze some of the juice into the jar and fill the lemon with as much salt as possible.
Place the lemon into the jar and add more salt if it falls out. Continue this process until the jar is packed tight with lemons. You can cut and segment a few lemons if you need to to make a tight seal. Close the container and place in a cool, dark location. After a few days check the lemons and add another if the others have begun to break down. Avoid opening the container too much. It is very important to limit air exposure of the lemons. Even after they are ready to use, keep the container closed as much as possible. When you’re ready to use the lemons remove a piece from the jar. You can remove the membrane and rinse off the rind to reduce the salt, however in most recipes you don’t need to. Most often I toss in 1/8 or 1/4 of a lemon straight out of the jar. As the lemons break down they will create a liquid, almost like a syrup. This is great to use in marinades or for added punch in a salad dressing.
Once the lemons have been in the jar for 3-4 weeks they should look like this picture. The rinds will be sot and pliable, the color tinged brown. If you taste the liquid or the lemon that has been produced you will see it’s a mix of sweet and salty. Lemons will keep for many months, again in a cool dark place, so only make as many as you think you’ll use in that time!
The rest of the #SundaySupper team is cooking up a citrus feast this week! The snow is melting here and it’s got me yearning for more bright flavors. Be sure to stop by and visit some of my fellow contributors for more recipes and inspiration.
- Better with Citrus Breakfasts:
- Orange Ricotta Pancakes from Gotta Get Baked
Big On Citrus Breads & Condiments:
- Honey Lime Dressing from Ruffles & Truffles
- Lemon Poppyseed Sweet Bread from Food Lust People Love
- Meyer Lemon Pistachio Loaf from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Moroccan Preserved Lemons from MarocMama
Make You Pucker Salads, Sides, & Main Dishes:
- Ceviche from Cookistry
- Cilantro Lime Rice from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Citrus Ginger Chicken from Kudos Kitchen
- Easy Indian Lemon Chicken from Soni’s Food
- Grilled Orange & Lime Chicken Thighs from Big Bear’s Wife
- Meyer Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Asparagus with Brown Rice from Daily Dish Recipes
- Orange Chicken from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Red Cabbage and Red Pepper Salad with Citrus Dressing from Family Foodie
- Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw from Magnolia Days
- Tangy Lemon Rice with Grated Mango & Roasted Cashew from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Sour Citrusy Sweets & Desserts:
- Blood Orange Sorbet from My Cute Bride
- Broiled Oranges with Toasted Coconut from Neighborfood
- Clementine Curd from Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Creamsicle Cupcakes from The Meltaways
- Dairyfree Key Lime Meringue Bliss from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Fresh Lemon Mousse from Comfy Cuisine
- Frozen Lemon Dessert from Gourmet Drizzles
- Gluten Free Orange Pound Cake from Simply Gourmet
- Honey and Lemon Cake from Happy Baking Days
- Key Lime Biscotti from Juanita’s Cocina
- Key Lime Cheesecake from Flour on My Face
- Key Lime Cookie Bars from Supper for a Steal
- Key Lime Truffles from What Smells So Good?
- Lemon Blueberry Polenta Cake from Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Lemon Coconut Cinnamon Rolls from Chocolate Moosey
- Lemon Cookies from Basic N Delicious
- Lemon Cream Pie Push Pops from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Lemon Layer Cake from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Lemon Ricotta Cake from The Urban Mrs.
- Meyer Lemon Snack Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Mini Meyer Lemon Pies from Cravings of a Lunatic
- Mini Orange Cream & Lemon Cream Scones from The Foodie Army Wife
- No-Bake Lemon Cheese Cakes w/Blueberry-Lemon Sauce from Momma’s Meals
- Olive Oil Cake with Orange Marmalade from Hip Foodie Mom
- Omiyage California Citrus Cake from Ninja Baking
- Orange Cake with Orange Syrup from The Lovely Pantry
- Pink Grapefruit Pie from In the Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
- Pink Lemonade Pound Cake from In the Kitchen with KP
- Sugar-Free Lemon Meringue Pie from Webicurean
- Tarte au Citron from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Sour Sips & Drinks:
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, March 31st to talk all about citrus recipes! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.