Recipe

Preserved lemons

We tend to think of preserved lemons as being a Moroccan thing, but they're also an important part of cooking throughout North Africa, as well as Indian cuisine. Jars of preserved lemons make an excellent home-made gift, as well as being a great thing to have in your own pantry.

  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
  • Print
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Photography by Ian Wallace, styling by Louise Pickford.

Ingredients

Preserved lemons
  • 8 medium lemons
  • 1 1/2 cup (450g) rock salt
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup (250ml) lemon juice

Method

Preserved lemons
  • 1
    Halve lemons lengthways; carefully cut each lemon half in half again, without cutting all the way through. Open lemon halves out slightly.
  • 2
    Squeeze lemons over a large non-metallic bowl to catch the juice. Add lemons to bowl with salt, bay leaves and seeds, mix well.
  • 3
    Pack lemon mixture into 1.5-litre (6-cup) sterilised jar, then pour enough of the juice into the jar to cover lemons. Place a sealed small plastic bag filled with water on top of the lemons to keep them submerged; seal jar. Label and date jar.

Notes

Store preserved lemons in a cool, dark place for at least three weeks before using. Refrigerate after opening. To use, remove and discard pulp, squeeze juice from rind, rinse rind well, then slice according to recipe. Cinnamon sticks or chillies can be added to jar before sealing.

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