Preserved lemons are a staple of Moroccan cuisine. They’re fermented with salt and lemon juice, which preserves the peel. You rinse off the salt before using the peel. They add a mellow lemony flavor to stews, drinks, fish, meats and vegetable dishes.
Meyer lemons have a thinner skin and are sweeter than regular lemons. You can preserve them with sugar to use in sweet dishes, but I preserve them the regular way with salt. Look for Meyer lemons in in the produce section in the late winter and early spring.
Many recipes call for keeping the lemons on the counter for as long as a month. I’m too squeamish to do such a thing, so I keep the Mason jar of lemons brining in a cool spot on the counter for a week, shaking it daily, then I keep it into the fridge.
You can buy glass weights that fit inside the top of mason jars to keep preserves under liquid. I found the top of an old jar that fits inside a 16 ounce mason jar. I use that to keep the lemons submerged in the juice, else they’ll get moldy if they poke up out of the brine.
Chop or slice the preserved lemon peels, and use them in almost any dish that needs a little acid. You can re-use the brine too, adding more lemons when the jar is empty. Preserved lemons keep for a long time in the fridge. Toss them if they get moldy.
Preserved Meyer Lemons
Add a mellow lemony flavor to meat, fish, drinks, vegetables with preserved Meyer lemons. Keep a bottle in the fridge to use all year round.
- 3 whole Meyer lemons, cut into quarters lengthwise
- ¼ cup coarse kosher sea salt
- Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
Place the lemon quarters into a bowl with the salt, and stir until the lemons are coated with salt.
Put the lemons (along with any juice and salt) into a sterilized 16-ounce Mason jar, and press down with a wooden spoon to release the juice to fill the jar.
Pour enough lemon juice into the jar to cover the lemons.
Place a small plastic bag filled with water or a glass weight over the top of the lemons to keep them under the juice. If the lemons rise up above the brine, they’ll get moldy.
Set the jar on the counter in a cool spot for about a week, shaking it daily.
Store preserved Meyer lemons in the fridge.
Quarter Meyer lemons lengthwise, then remove the seeds.
Toss the lemon quarters and salt together in a bowl. Put the quarters into a 16-ounce Mason jar, and press down with a wooden spoon to release the juice and fill the jar. Add more lemon juice to cover the lemons and fill the jar to the top.
I use the glass lid of an old bottle to weigh down the lemon quarters so they don’t float above the brine, or the lemons will get moldy. You can buy fermentation weights that fit inside wide-mouth mason jars for the same purpose.
Leave the jar of lemons on the counter for a week, shaking it daily. Make sure the lemons stay under the brine after shaking. Put the jar in the fridge, and use as needed as a garnish for meats, fish, any dish that would benefit from a touch of preserved lemon.