Have you ever bought a big bag of lemons only to realize you’ve only used just a couple a week later? Or maybe you have a meyer lemon tree with more fruit than you know what to do with! That’s where this weeks #urbantips comes into play. We’re preserving lemons, the Moroccan way!
Preserving lemons in salt is a method that has been around for hundreds of years, and can be the wow-factor secret ingredient to almost any dish you cook. We love them in stews, dressings, roasted with veggies and more. If you want to get real fancy, Bon Appetit even curated a list of delish recipes featuring preserved lemons here.
All it takes are lemons (meyer lemons are the traditional lemon used, but they can be hard to find so any lemon will do), sea salt, and spices. We used Moroccan style spices in our recipe, but you can try other types of dried spices in yours too! You can even do this recipe without spices if you don’t have any and your lemons will preserve the same. While the preservation process takes a month or so, you get 6 months to a year of bright, salty, citrusy lemons to use in your food!
Spiced Moroccan Preserved Lemons
Makes 1 gallon
• 10 pounds lemons
• sea salt
• about 6 cinnamon sticks
• about a palmful each of cloves, allspice berries, and dried chili peppers
Instructions for preserving:
1. Pour a layer of sea salt at bottom of your gallon jar. Add some of each spice.
2. Cut tops of lemons vertically and horizontally about 3/4 of the way down.
3. In a bowl, stuff salt down into the cut lemons one by one. Make sure you’ve added salt into each cut.
4. Place each lemon over the top of the jar and squeeze it until half the juice is removed and push it down into the jar tightly.
5. Add lemons to jar until a full layer is complete. In between each layer of lemons add a pinch of spices.
6. Keep layering this way until jar is full. When you’ve added the last lemons, add the last of your spices.
7. Juice the remaining lemons into the jar, and push the lemons down tightly to release more juice. Keep juicing and squeezing until all lemons are submerged in lemon juice.
8. After they are covered with lemon juice date them and allow them to cure on the counter for at least a month.
*If your lemons are not always submerged, keep pushing down on the lemons each day until they are covered with lemon juice.
Some preserved lemon tricks:
• rinse each lemon slice you use with water to wash off excess salt
• use a little bit at a time, they are very strong and very salty so it can overpower your dish quickly, follow recipe instructions for amounts
• the rinds are the gold in this preserve
• you can store these lemons on your counter or fridge for 6 months to 1 year