Sunday, February 17, 2013

Preserved lemons

Thought not.

(* Thank you, Monty Python)

Above, the Meyer lemons I put into salt two weeks ago. I am curious. I've never preserved such thin-skinned lemons before, and can't help wondering whether the best flavour might not come from the thicker pith of others. The part you use, in the end, is just the sticky, soft skin, and not the overly salty pulp. Below, photographed today - a lot of moisture drawn out, but not ready yet.

( I added more lemon juice after this photo was taken.)

A tagine is in the offing. Although the lemons can be bent towards any culinary tradition. Finely chopped and mixed with fresh herbs they are a delicious rub for just about anything, and I would also make wonderful sorbets and addition to cocktails.

Aged tequila? Preserved lemming? Yes, please.


  1. I love your photographs!

  2. I bought preserved lemons and they were horrible! Yours look fresh and yummy. I know Meyer lemons are popular, but truthfully, I still love the Ponderosa variety - nice and sour and fragrant.

  3. We've made them from organic Eureka? here and backyard Meyer lemons, when we lived in the Bay area. I miss that tree. Personally, I prefer the Meyer preserved lemons, but that might be because I made those first. And also because I just love Meyer lemons. Their skins are so soft and flesh like! Says Hannibal Lecter. When I preserved the Meyers I would put the pulp into recipes as well, the skins were very thin as you said and, because the lemons were sweeter to begin with, I found it was not bitter in the finished recipe. But that could be just me.
    My preserved lemon recipe does not seem to use as much salt as yours appears to. Mine is from a now semi-memorized Paula Wolfert recipe that incorporates salt, lemon juice and cardamom. Is yours all salt or is that just the picture?
    I envy you those lemons!

    1. I'd love to have a lemon tree, here. They are a staple, for me.

      I'm pretty sure I used too much salt - about 1 cup in the large jar. I'm making another batch that is far more conservative, with more lemon juice.

  4. Hi Marie,

    If you have not discovered Diana Henry yet, you might want to have a look at her recipe books on amazon I cannot remember if the recipe for preserved lemons with chicken and green olives is from Crazy water, pickled lemons or Food for plenty - both recipe books are amazing and the result was fantastic!

    Lisa, London


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