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moroccan preserved lemons

a recipe by
Tess Geer
Westerville, OH

Preserved Lemons are a staple of Moroccan cuisine. Their unique taste cannot be duplicated. Fresh lemon juice simply won't suffice. Once you've tried them, you will agree. With only three ingredients, they are very easy to make. In the US, I have found that Meyer lemons make the best Preserved Lemons. It is extremely important to scrub the lemons well. Many commercially grown lemons are coated with wax to preserve their color. Try and get organic lemons to avoid the wax.

serves 10-20
prep time 15 Min
method Canning/Preserving

Ingredients For moroccan preserved lemons

  • 5
    ripe lemons, not too hard
  • 1/4 c
    kosher salt (without iodine)
  • fresh lemon juice (as needed) approximately four lemons worth)

How To Make moroccan preserved lemons

  • 1
    Sterilize a one quart wide mouth mason jar and set aside.
  • 2
    Using a very sharp chef's knife,the lemons but do not cut all the way through. Leave lemon quarters connected at one end. If you look at the picture with this step, you can see that the quartered lemon remains joined at one end.
  • 3
    Open each quartered lemon taking care to not separate completely and sprinkle each quartered lemon liberally with salt and squeeze back into shape.
  • 4
    Using a wooden spoon, pack the lemons into the jar, sprinkling with remaining salt between each lemon. Add more salt if needed. Press each lemon down firmly with the spoon to release the juice.
  • 5
    If the juice does not complete cover the lemons, add more FRESH SQUEEZED lemon juice until it does. Make sure there is plenty of space at the top of the jar before sealing. I have found that five lemons works best.
  • 6
    Close tightly and set in a warm, dark spot. Leave for 30 days, shaking and turning every day or two to redistribute the lemon brine.
  • 7
    After 30 days, your lemons will be ready. To use, remove a lemon with a wooden spoon (DO NOT EVER STICK YOUR FINGERS IN THE JAR). Rinse the lemon under cold water and cut away and discard the pulp. The brine can also be used as a flavoring in soups, sauces etc. (it's really good!)
  • 8
    Your lemons will keep for up to one year stored in a cool dark place. No need to refrigerate.