• Chef's Tip: Preserved Lemons

July 01, 2016

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are fresh lemons that have been pickled in salt & lemon juice. They are an essential ingredient in many middle eastern recipes. When cooking with the lemons, you can remove the flesh before using or leave it on depending on how much salt & flavor you want to add to the dish. If you are using them raw, its best to just use the rind. The longer the lemons simmer in the sauce, the more salt and lemon flavor that will be released. For more recipes to use your Preserved Lemons visit our website.

Hummus with Preserved Lemon

Makes about 2 cups This is great on sandwiches or served as a dip with freshly baked pita chips.

  • ½ a preserved lemon, rinsed under cold water, pulp & rind roughly chopped
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 16-ounce can chickpeas (liquid reserved)

Combine the lemon, peanut butter, garlic, cayenne, olive oil, chickpeas, and ¼ cup of the chickpea liquid in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add more chickpea liquid if necessary to get to a good, silky consistency. Season with salt, pepper or a bit more cayenne to taste.

Homemade Preserved Lemons

  • 8-10 lemons, scrubbed very clean
  • ½ cup kosher salt, more if needed
  • Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
  • Sterilized quart canning jar
Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar. One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base. Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons. Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt. Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften. To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired. Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months. Note: You can add spices to the lemons for preserving - cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf.


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