How to Make Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons - not just for Moroccan food

What can I say about preserved lemons other than that they are my MOST favorite condiment. I’ve been making them for years, and always looking for more ways to use them. They are great with rice, pasta, poultry, lamb, a variety of vegetables, sprinkled in a salad or incorporated into dressings and sauces. You can make them the star of the show or so subtle that one hardly knows they are there.

They are very easy to make, but once you make them, you are going to have to wait a few weeks before they’re ready. So start a jar today! Below are the instructions for how I make preserved lemons as well as my first instructional video! How fun is that?! (Be sure to see my Hints to Making an Instructional Video at this end of this post.)


If you don’t want to wait or just don’t want another jar of “something” sitting in your fridge for a few months, then you can make the Quick Preserved Lemons described in this post. These only take 24 hours and with one lemon you can make enough for one or two dishes.

 

Using Preserved Lemons

  • 30+ recipes that use preserved lemons
  • One or two lemon halves – stuff in the cavity of poultry when roasting.
  • One or two lemon halves with seeds removed – throw in the pot when braising.
  • Rinds – chop and add to salads, pasta, rice, and vegetable dishes.
  • Preserved juice – wonderful in sauces and salad dressings, as well as added to all of the above.

To reduce the amount of salt, you may choose to rinse the preserved lemon pieces before using.  I choose not to.  Instead, I don’t add any additional salt to the dish.

Hints to Making an Instructional Video

Originally, I was just going to have Bobby take stills of the process, but then in the middle of our photography session for this post he said “Let’s do a video!”  So we immediately jumped from still photography to video.  Here’s what I learned:

  1. When you are inexperienced with being in front of a camera (like me), you can’t jump from still photography (being the observer) to video (being observed) without some pre-planning.  In other words – Don’t wing it!
  2. Write a script!
  3. Have someone else be the talent if you don’t like your voice, but then – who likes their own voice?  Therefore, have someone else be the talent.
  4. Have enough time and ingredients to do more than one take.
  5. Have EVERYTHING you need to show the procedure.  Example – If you are going to clean the rim of the jar, have something to “clean” the rim of the jar with!
  6. Do a COMPLETE run through before the camera comes on.  That way you know you have everything you’ll need (DUH!) and you can practice the script you didn’t write.
  7. The procedure you are showing will always take longer than you expect, so be prepared to edit the video, unless – of course – you wrote a script!

 

 

PreservedLemons_Web

Recipes that use or could use preserved lemons:

Lemony Orzo Salad

 

 

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Appetizer (replace the capers and vinegar with a little preserved lemons and lemon juice)

 

 

 

Rice with Preserved lemons and artichokes

 

Preserved Lemon Rice

 

 

Salad with tomatoes, strawberries, preserved lemons and cheese

Strawberry Tomato Salad with Preserved Lemons

 

 

 

Capelinni pasta with preserved lemons and an egg

Capellini with Lemon, Garlic and Egg

 

 

 

Everything you wanted to know about lemons
Food for Thought: Lemons
@ Cajunlicious

Crispy rice with preserved lemons – Tonight I had about 2 1/2 cups leftover rice from some Thai take-out so I threw it in a bowl, added 1/2 cup minced onion, 1 Tbsp. minced preserved lemon, 1 cup chopped arugula, and 2 beaten eggs.  Mixed everything together.  Melted 1 Tbsp. butter in a non-stick 10″ skillet. Pressed the rice mixture into the skillet, covered, and cooked over medium low for 15 minutes or until eggs were set and the rice against the pan was crispy.  I inverted onto a plate and served.  It was quite yummy!

Alright – I’ve packed in as much as I could into this post, so “it’s a wrap!”

 

This Preserved Lemon Recipe has been linked to Overflowing with Creativity, Katherine Martinelli’s DIY Blog Hop, Whole Food Wednesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday.  Click on these links to find many more tasty recipes.  It was featured on Clever Chicks Blog Hop, October 2012.

 

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66 Responses to “How to Make Preserved Lemons”

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  2. Lisa LaRocco February 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    I feel like I hit the jackpot when I found this recipe. I didn’t know you could preserve lemons. I can’t wait to try this method. I love lemons and always seem to need one when I have just run out. This is the perfect solution.

    Also thanks for the hints on making a video. You are very generous to share this info.

    I also love the recipes on this website. Just reading them I can tell they are full of flavor.

    Lisa

    • mj February 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Thanks so much Lisa for your kind comments!!! I’m so glad you enjoy my recipes and hope that you find this one an easy method for making a wonderful jar of lemons! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. quest bars on youtube.com November 6, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article.
    Many thanks for supplying this info.

  4. Bill October 30, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Your video is very well done. The video and audio quality is quite good. Your narration and instruction is easy to follow. You should make more videos.

  5. How to Make Preserved Lemons | MJ’s Kitchen

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  7. drink lemon water May 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Made this last weekend. Took 6 pounds of Meyer Lemons for 2 1-quart jars and truth be told, I could’ve used more lemons for more juice. Not sure how the lemons will turn out.http://drinklemonwater.com/ways-to-preserve-lemon-juice/

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  9. Kathy, The Chicken Chick October 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    I had never heard of preserved lemons before, thanks for the great video!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  10. MoroccoDelights September 20, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Hello MJ, your video looks great and i like the way you made the lemons. I have a video on how to make preserved lemons the Moroccan way (Traditional method). I am gonna try your method two. You can check out my video on : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J63lKe5CaQ or by visiting my website at http://www.moroccodelights.com. Looks there is a lot more to discover on your website. Keep up the good work!

    • mj September 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! Your video is great. Our methods our very similar except for the water and olive oil. I’ll have to try adding olive oil next time to so how it changes the flavors. Thanks again!

  11. Katherine Martinelli March 23, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    What a great post MJ! I have a jar of lemons being preserved right now and can’t wait to use them! I love your video. Thanks for linking up at my blog hop! Pinned :-)

  12. Nisa Homey February 16, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Hi MJ, thank you for the visit and for the lovely comment. I loved your video sooo much, I have never preserved lemon though I make lemon pickles http://nisahomey.blogspot.in/2012/02/kerala-lemon-picklenaranga-acharstep-by.html
    Your instruction are so simple and easy, I will be trying out this soon. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. Blessings, Nisa.

  13. Suzi February 15, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    I see that I already saw this post but I didn’t make them. I have a few lemons right now so I am going to do the quick method to go with the rice dish. I also just saw a box here on the comments to check to get your post in my e-mail. I have been trying for months with the one at the top of the page but it wants me to use outlook or something. Now I can get them in my e-mail box. Have a wonderful day.

  14. sally February 13, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    I finally made these last night, and your instructional video was very helpful! I’m not sure I can wait 4 weeks to use them though. :)

  15. Sawsan@chef in disguise February 13, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Thank you for the recipe MJ
    I love lemon and you just gave me a new twist to try

  16. Jill@RealFoodForager.com February 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
    http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-february-7-2012/

  17. Aimee@itsoverflowing.com January 9, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    I have to try this… Thanks for linking up! Check out my giveaway….

    XO, Aimee

  18. Su Anne December 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    I’ve made the pasta dish twice. The first time using lemon zest and juice in lieu of preserved lemons. It was good but… The second time was after my lovely jar of preserved lemons was ready. THE DIFFERENCE IS ASTOUNDING! I understand what you mean by this being your favorite condiment. WOW!

    Several of my favorite cooks are getting preserved lemons for Christmas, along with a copy of your pasta recipe and a referral to your website.

    The video is perfect. Great job. Beautiful hands.

    • mj December 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

      You made my day Su Anne!!!!!!! Thanks!

  19. BigFatBaker December 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    So cool! I have been wanting to make these for a while. I think as soon as I get home for the holidays I’ll make some for my family and some to take back to school!

  20. Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot December 7, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Hi MJ, I just discovered this post from the 7 links post. I’m glad this recipe was highlighted because I finally learned what preserved lemons could be used for here! I’ve seen several recipes for making preserved lemons, but I didn’t know what they would be used for. So thank you for providing some ideas. Great video too!

    • mj December 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      Sharon – I hope you give these a try. They are so very versatile! Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Ramona December 3, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    Mj, I love both methods here! Thank you for doing this one. I am definitely saving it. :)

  22. ginny lee September 27, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    yay! opens up a whole new bunch of dishes I can make since to find them here would be difficult.

    • mj October 3, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      I always had a hard time finding them as well, that’s why I started making them! Enjoy!

  23. Kathy September 25, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    A Star is Born! Loved the video! Chuckled while reading the tips about making the video.

    • mj October 3, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks Kathy! :) :)

  24. Foodiewife September 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    This was your first video? It’s great! I’ve always wanted to make preserved lemons, and you’ve made it look so easy! Question– using Mason Jars would work fine, too. Right? How long do the preserved lemons last? I assume they are stored in the fridge?

    • mj September 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      Mason jars are fine. Just don’t turn them upside down because if any of the acid from the lemon leaks out it will corrode the metal ring and may cause it to stick to the jar. My lemons usually last a year before I use them all up, but I’ve read they can last up to 2 years. And yes, after the 4 week preserving period, put them in the fridge. Happy preserving!!!!! Thanks for the comment on the video!

  25. Suzi August 27, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Hi MJ, your lemon preserves look inspiring and not too difficult, I will have to try this. Thanks! Very nice video.
    Suzi

    • mj September 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      Thanks Suzi!

  26. Lynne August 25, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    Great recipe for the preserved lemons. Your hands look beautiful in the video. Also, you have some delicious looking food in your posts.

    • mj August 25, 2011 at 8:39 am #

      Thanks Lynn! I appreciate your comments!

  27. bonnie at sweet life August 23, 2011 at 4:10 am #

    thanks for the vid, a very helpful tool! I have always wanted to make preserved lemons. thanks for the recipe, great site!!

    • mj August 23, 2011 at 7:44 am #

      Thanks for the nice comments Bonnie, and for stopping by!

  28. Peachie August 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    I didn’t know that preserved lemons could be used in making so many dishes! I actually thought that it was only used in Moroccan tagines. Silly me!!! So now I shall have to try some preserved lemons dishes out!

    • mj August 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

      Please do! It’s funny – I was using them in rice and pasta dishes long before I even heard of tagines. I’m not done with the possibilities! :)

  29. mj August 22, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Thanks Manu! It’s easy when you have a professional behind the camera! :) I thought it would be easy having been a teacher for so many years, but … it’s different! And you know – software can always take out the green. :)

  30. Manu August 22, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    Ohhh that’s a GREAT POST! And congrats on the video! I have taken very short videos but nothing like yours. I don;t think I am ready for that!!! I am a bit shy and would turn green if I had to speak in front of the camera!!! hehehe

  31. Nami | Just One Cookbook August 22, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    I always admire people who make video clips. I also never preserved anything…. It looks like that’s what all the foodies enjoy. It’ll be a fun activity with the kids, I think. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • mj August 22, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      My mother was from the country and my granddad was a farmer, so I grew up preserving, canning, making jams and jellies and freezing stuff. I always thought that’s what everyone did. :) I’m now moving into be more adventurous with it and it’s fun! Thanks for your comments!

  32. Spoon and Chopsticks August 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi, you have a great website with interesting recipes. I have bookmarked it.

    Feel free to visit mine at http://spoon-and-chopsticks.blogspot.com/

    • mj August 22, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks for stopping by! I just checked out your site and it’s wonderful! I will be returning!

  33. Madonna August 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Sorry, just re-read your instructions. I feel like Gilda Radner – never mind.

    • mj August 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      No Problem! I usually set my jar in the corner of the kitchen counter away from the oven or stovetop and the coolest spot in the kitchen.

  34. Madonna August 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    By cool place do you mean the refrigerator for 4 weeks? Great video.

  35. purabi naha August 21, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Hi, thanks for dropping a comment on twitter and now I am here, in your wonderful space. Wow, what a great blog, with so much info on everything! I loved your sense for detail!! Loved this post.

    • mj August 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks for your nice comments! Drop by anytime!

  36. sally August 21, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    What a great post! I am definitely inspired to make some preserved lemons now.

    • mj August 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      You’ll definitely find them worth the effort! Thanks!

  37. wok with ray August 21, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    Love that professional-looking video there, MJ! Thanks for the hints on how to make instructional videos but I don’t think I can do it as well as you did. You have a nice speaking voice, and very nice hands, too! :) If I will do the video for my blog, it will turn out to be a horror video and not an instructional one. I’ll stick with still photography, haha.

    Have a great weekend, MJ!

    ~ ray ~.

    • mj August 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Thanks for the nice comments Ray! Hum – a food blogger’s horror film – sounds interesting. ;)

  38. Bev Pawlowski August 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Love the video! This is a great idea. Will be making soon! :)

    • mj August 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      So glad you plan to make them! I hope you love them as much as I do.

  39. Giulietta @ Alterkitchen August 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    I never made or use preserved lemons, but you inspired me… as soon as I get my hands on some organic lemons I’ll make them and use them!
    Thanks a lot for sharing.. this is totally new to me :)
    PS: The video is very useful … and nice :)

    • mj August 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

      Thanks Giulia! I think you’ll like them. They might even work well with braised rabbit. :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] do use those wonderful preserved lemons I keep in the refrigerator, but if you don’t have any, you can always substitute lemon juice [...]

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