Randi Baird

Preserved lemons are a key element in Moroccan cooking, used in lamb and vegetable tagines and in salads. The salty pickled taste and soft texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon. I use organic lemons and when in season, Meyer lemons. Adding a couple of spices such as cinnamon stick, bay leaf, coriander, or allspice gives an exotic flavor. Make sure the lemons are always completely covered with salted lemon juice in their jar.

Makes one quart

  • 8 lemons
  • 1 cup sea salt

1. Juice two lemons, and set juice and pulp aside. Cut squeezed lemons into quarters and save. Quarter the remaining lemons, holding the fruit lengthwise and cutting from the top down to 1/4-inch from the bottom, so that the quartered pieces are still connected. Sprinkle salt on the inside of the lemon and then reshape the fruit.

2. Pack quartered lemons tightly into a sterilized one-quart jar. Press lemons down in jar to release juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and the leftover pulp and squeezed lemon rinds. Leave air space before sealing jar.

3. Let lemons cure in a warm place for 30 days, turning jar each day to distribute salt and juice. There is no need to refrigerate at this stage, but I do after opening the jar because mold will sometimes form on the top layer. Use the salty juice for dressings, and add fresh juice to top off as needed.

This recipe was originally published with the article, Salt.