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Recipe Category: Preserves

Moroccan Preserved Lemons

A specialty of Morocco, preserved lemons can be found in marketplaces everywhere. They are immersed in salt and lemon juice and left to mature for at least 3 months. They can then lend a zesty lemony burst to tagines, stews and even salad dressings. It’s worth doing a jar or two when lemons are in season and plentiful.

Makes: 1 x 1.5 litre preserving jar
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • 2 kg small lemons
  • sea salt, as needed
  • 2-3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cardamon pods, cracked
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Wash preserving jars, remove rubber seals, and place jars in oven at 120°C for 30 minutes. Cool and replace rubber seals before using.

To prepare lemons, trim the stalk end off and cut a deep cross into the lemon almost through to the end. Open out and sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt into each lemon. Re-shape and pack into a 1.5 litre sterilised preserving jar. Press each lemon a little to release the juice, and pack in tightly. Tuck in bay leaves and add cardamon pods and peppercorns. Fill the jar to the top with lemons, pressing as you go. You may need to add some lemon juice to ensure the lemons are completely covered. Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 3 months before using, shaking occasionally to dissolve the salt. The skins should appear translucent when they are ready to use.



To use preserved lemons, rinse them and remove the pulp in the centre, chopping only the rind for use in tagines, casseroles, soups, stews and even salad dressings.

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 08/07/2019