Sunday, 17 October 2021

Preserved Lemons

Many of us enjoy making Moroccan and North African dishes, but often the recipes mention using preserved lemons.  The cost of buying ready preserved lemons is ridiculous i.e. £4 - £8 for a fairly small jar when you can very easily make your own for less than £1.

Use a sterilised jar, four washed, unwaxed, lemons, and some sea salt. If you can't get unwaxed lemons then soak your lemons in a solution of warm water and vinegar and give them a really good scrub to remove all the wax.

Cut off both ends of the lemons.

 Cut each lemon into four segments but don't
cut through to the base, and place a small teaspoon of sea salt into each lemon.

Put a thin layer of sea salt at the bottom of your sterlised jar then pack the lemons in very tightly by putting the open ends of the lemons in first. I use a pestle that goes with my mortar to push them down as hard as I can. As you press lots of juice will begin to ooze out of the lemons. Seal the lid tightly and place the jar in the fridge. The juice from my lemons completely filled to the top of the jar, but if necessary, you can use a small amount of cooled pre-boiled water.

The lemons need to remain in the fridge for 4 weeks. Tip the jar upside down and give it a good shake from time to time. 

In four weeks I intend to make, a new to me recipe, called Date and chickpea tagine using these preserved lemons - so stayed tuned.

To use the lemons: rinse and dry however many quarters you need. Discard all of the flesh & pips and just use the skin. Slice this into whatever size you prefer. If the lemon liquid does not taste too salty it can be added to olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little sugar and then made into a salad dressing.
 

29 comments:

  1. Good luck with your new dish. I am sure it will taste great. Lemons are wonderful for perking up the flavour of just about anything. We actually buy lemon olive oil and use it in the dressing we make for a Greek salad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting! I've never even heard of preserved lemons before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They add that extra something to very many dishes.

      Delete
  3. This is fabulous Rosemary and I will definitely be following your recipe to make some. I love lemons and always keep a lot on hand for daily lemon water drinks, and to add juice or grate skin for different recipes (the one you are going to share later sounds awesome).
    An aside......my mother always told me she loved to suck a raw lemon often when she was pregnant with me! I often wonder if that's why I love lemon flavor lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rather like your mother Mary, I used to crave something along similar lines which was mint sauce.
      If the tagine recipe turns out to be delicious I will show it here.

      Delete
  4. Dear Rosemary,
    For a long time I have wanted to make preserved lemons but gave up after trying to decipher complicated instructions. Your recipe sounds doable and I am so pleased that you would share your recipe.
    Just the word "Tagine" brings back memories of fabulous lunches and dinners served to us in Morocco.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Gina - this is one of easiest things that I have ever made. 15 mins at the very most and the job is completed done and dustered.

      Delete
  5. Dearest Rosemary,
    If you are allowed to use salt, this is a great way to preserve lemons!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mariette - if you can't use salt then these lemons are not for you. However, very little salt does actually permeate through the skins and also they are washed before use. Perserving the lemon skins does however, greatly amplify and intensify their flavour.

      Delete
    2. They for sure are not a good idea for anyone with CKD stage 4...

      Delete
    3. I do hope that is not something that you have Mariette.

      Delete
    4. Yes, I do but I still enjoy life with all its restrictions! ๐Ÿ’ž

      Delete
  6. Hello Rosemary, We are all agog to find out how these preserved lemons and the accompanying recipe turn out. I too have never heard of anything like this, but your jar looks beautiful. Perhaps the preserved peels could be soaked in water or fresh lemon (or other citrus) juice if the peels seem too salty. Many people report sudden bounties of lemons, so this is something interesting to keep in mind.
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jim - apparently the perservation process does not make the skins taste salty, but I will be able to confirm that when they are ready. However, I have read that it makes the skins taste very very lemony which I suspect is the reason why Morocans and North Africans preserve them.

      Delete
    2. Sounds good! Do you think they can be used for sweet as well as savory dishes? --Jim

      Delete
    3. That is a great thought Jim, I hadn't considered that, but apparently you can i.e lemon drizzle cake for example.

      Delete
  7. Too ambitious for me I'm afraid :) I'm not a bad cook as such but if I can't make a meal in under 30 mins, usually 20 mins I don't bother with it. Single guy syndrome as I had little patience waiting for a small jelly to set overnight then decided on eating it, it wasn't worth the effort...It would be different if I was cooking or preparing food for children or another person- then I would be motivated.
    I did enjoy an amazing chicken and lemon dish in Spain once but that might have been flavour amplified by being half starved by then after living on light to carry pasta and noodles for three weeks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you do travel down here sometime in the future, then I will cook something special for you.

      Delete
  8. I have not made preserved lemons for quite a long while, but your recipe has me thinking I should again. They do brighten up dishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't used them before, but apparently they also add lots of good lemony flavour to the dish too - I hope so.

      Delete
  9. Thank you so much for this fab and simple recipe. I shall be making some for us and friends. Best, Jean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a really great idea, they would make a very welcome edition to Christmas celebrations e.g useful as a stocking filler.

      Delete
  10. Oh this is interesting, thank you Rosemary I might do some for Christmas presents! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they would make a very good Christmas extra for friends and may be add a recipe to go with them. They are so quick and easy to make.

      Delete
  11. I do not know if I have ever tasted preserved lemons, but this is so interesting. We have our first lemon tree covered in tiny little lemons are await with interest to see if they grow big or fall off! Maybe I will get a chance to try your receipt some time soon. Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be a lovely idea to be able to make some with your own home grown lemons Patricia.
      Apparently you can also use the lemon skins in desserts too i.e lemon drizzle cake etc.

      Delete
  12. I like most of the others have never heard of preserved lemons. Look forward to the recipe you will use them in..

    ReplyDelete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them sometimes”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh