Moroccan preserved lemons recipe

Published February 15, 2011 1:30AM (EST)


  • 6 lemons, preferably organic, washed and scrubbed
  • ¼ cup kosher or gros sel-type salt, more as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 each of cloves, black peppercorns and whole coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, as needed
  • A clean jar big enough to hold all of the lemons


  1. Start by almost quartering the lemons. To do this, slice off the very end of your lemon so that you have a flat surface to work with. Stand the lemon on its now flat bottom and cut vertically about three quarters of the way down. Don't cut all the way through!
  2. Now cut vertically again, this time at a square angle to your first cut, giving you a quartered lemon held together by its end.
  3. Stuff as much salt as you can into the center of each lemon and then squeeze it back together. Put a tablespoon of salt in the bottom of the jar along with the rest of the ingredients except the lemon juice and start packing your salty lemons in.
  4. Press down on the lemons as you go so their juice comes out, making it easier to pack every last one in. If the juice from the lemons doesn't completely cover them, top the jar up with your extra lemon juice. The lemons have to be completely covered, but you'll have to leave a bit of air space between the surface of the juice and the lid. Put the lid on and shake.
  5. Let the lemons sit in a warm corner of your kitchen and give the jar a shake whenever you pass by. Your preserved lemons will be ready to use in about a month. When using, be careful to use clean utensils (or fingers) to pull the lemon from the container to keep any bacteria from contaminating your jar of sunshine. Rinse the lemons thoroughly before using. Once ready, preserved lemons will keep, refrigerated, about six months.

By Lise Charlebois-Ludot

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