Preserved Lemons


A quick and easy recipe for preserved lemons. Wonderful in salad dressings and stews; adding mellow citrus, sweetness, brightness and a rich depth.  


One large kilner jar scrubbed with soapy boiling water and rinsed

10 unwaxed lemons – obviously how many depends on the size of your jar.

Peppercorns –green, black or both

4 bay leaves

A small handful of whole green chilli peppers

A few sprigs of rosemary or other aromatic herbs

Salt crystals– approximately 250g for 10 lemons

Extra lemon juice to cover (7 lemons juiced approximately)

Cut a cross with a knife at the top and bottom of each lemon, so that it looks like two quarters on a hinge.

Rub as much salt as possible (about 1/2 – 1 tsp) inside each opened side of the lemon and squash it back into shape. Now layer them in a Kilmer jar with another layer of the salt, bay leaves, pepper corns and chilli between each layer of lemons.

Squash down with a rolling pin to release the juice from the lemons. If the lemons are not covered, pour additional lemon juice over the lemons. Weigh them down with something heavy (I have used stones, a small bowl, a tiny mortar). Make sure there is  a reasonable gap ( 2-3 inches at the top of the jar) for the gasses produced in fermentation.

Close the lid and leave somewhere temperate (kitchen counter, table). Release the gasses every 4-5 days for the first few weeks. Otherwise liquids will start to seep.

Or it might explode.

Turn the jar upside down gently once a week every few days to move the salt around.

Leave for 8 weeks before using.  Store somewhere cool and not in direct sunlight.

The flavour goes from sharp to something more mellow and sweet the longer they are left. My latest batch are over a year old (thats why its worth making a big jar, the flavour from one is so intense they last a while).

When cooking with them, just use the rind. Scrape the inside pulp away and discard. Rinse quickly to get rid of the salt, which is extremely intense.

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