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How to Preserve Lemons

March 24, 2015
Have you tried preserved lemons? A popular ingredient in Moroccan, Middle Eastern, and North African cooking, preserved lemons are easily made by soaking fresh lemons in a salt and lemon juice brine for a few weeks until the skins are supple and tender. This technique pickles the fruit creating a versatile accompaniment for many dishes. Chop them up and add to vinaigrettes and dips, roast them with chicken or fish, or toss them with spring veggies and warm pasta for a perfect seasonal meal.


  • 5 ripe lemons, preferably organic
  • 5 tbsps Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus additional as necessary


Sterilize a 1-quart jar in boiling water; set aside to drain. Scrub the lemons under hot water to remove any wax or dirt.

Cut into quarters leaving attached at the stem end. Gently spread the quarters apart and add 1 tablespoon salt. 

Place in jar and repeat with remaining lemons, pressing down to pack.  

Fill the jar with lemon juice to within 1/2-inch of top and tightly seal with lid. 

Before using, place in a cool dark place for at least 3 weeks turning occasionally to evenly distribute the juice and salt.  

Store jars in refrigerator for up to 6 months. To use, remove the pulp and rinse under cool water to remove salt. Refrigerate after using.