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Preserved Lemon

The lemons are a classic addition to Moroccan tagines, and they make a great salty-citrus punch to any dish that uses lemons. Check out my pasta with grilled octopus that uses these lemons.

About 8 lemons


  • lemons: about 8 medium sized lemons, wax free
  • coarse salt: 0.75 ts
  • peppercorns: about 1 Tbsp
  • bay leaf (optional): 1


  • 1-2 large glass preserving jar(s), sterilized


  1. Add a small handful of salt to the bottom of the jar.
  2. Cut and salt the lemons. Cut each lemon lengthwise from the top to within 0.5 in/1 cm of the bottom root end. Cut again lengthwise 90 degrees from the first cut to give you 4 equal sections. Open up the lemon and pack it with salt. Press into the jar, and continue with all the lemons, and sprinkle salt on each layer. Add the peppercorns and bay leaf to the jar. Once all lemons are added push them down as much as possible.
  3. Close the jar and let sit at room temperature for 4 weeks, keeping out of sunlight. Once per week, open the jar and push the lemons down to keep them covered in juice. After 4 weeks, store them in the refrigerator.
  4. To use the lemons, cut away the pulp and only use the rind for directly eating. (One use of the pulp is to add it to stews or soups to flavor–strain out before eating. Rinse the rind to get rid of excess salt and chop coarsely or finely depending on your recipe.