What do you do with Preserved Lemons 2 ?

Preserved Lemons Join the mailing list for updates. KITTY IS WORKING ON IT!


IDEAS! Try adding preserved lemon rind to vegetable stir frys, to tuna salad, or to a frittata. Use preserved lemon pulp to baste seafood, lamb, or chicken; add a little to your vinaigrette for extra tang.


Here is one of my FAVORITE ways to use preserved lemons.



22 thoughts on “What do you do with Preserved Lemons 2 ?

  1. Kitty

    Jean, have you ever cooked Moroccan food before? Have you ever tasted preserved lemons? To make preserved lemons you need lemons no larger than  a golf ball (Meyer or Eurekas are fine),  and salt. Slit the lemons open (like petals of a flower), and fill the opening with kosher salt. Stuff the lemons in a jar, as many as the jar will hold. Keep adding lemons, pressing down until they are submerged in THEIR OWN juice. DO NOT ADD extra liquid of any kind. Set the jar on the kitchen counter for 4 to 6 weeks, until the rind of a preserved lemon is soft enough to pierce with a fork.  Voila. Or,  you can order preserved lemons from the Lemon Lady whose link appears on the right.
    Keep me posted on your preserved lemons' progress!

  2. Gaby Osborn

    Hi Kitty- I enjoyed your lecture on Marocco -very much- yesterday-(Herb-Society) you are such an inspiration..what an exciting life you must have had- and still have-makes me like to go to Marocco–but I guess I first try your lemons in salt..great idea for X-mas gifts..ciao Gaby-p.s. put me on your mailing list…

  3. Kitty

    Hi Gaby:
    What a great group you belong to. It was a pleasure giving my presentation on Moroccan cuisine and culture to the San Diego Herb Society. Let me know how your preserved lemons turn out. Bismillah and Happy Preserving!

  4. Ray Overton

    Hi Kitty- Just ran across your blog doing some research on foods in the bible.  I love it.  I am a chef/food writer in Atlanta and love to use the rind of preserved lemons in Tuna Nicioise. It really perks up the flavors of the potatoes (I use fingerlings) and the Haricots Verts, and heightens the vinaigrette and the tomatoes to a new level. 
    Being a cookbook writer and teacher, a couple of things I have had great success with: Crab Cakes with Preserved Lemon Aioli, and Southern "Air-Fried" Chicken Salad with Slivered Smoked Almonds and Preserved Lemon Bits.
    Hope we can meet one day soon :0) Ray

  5. Kitty

    Ray! Thanks so much for getting in touch. I love your use of preserved lemons. They do go well with crab cakes. I wonder what air fried chicken salad tastes like?  I may have to go to Atlanta to find out. Best,

  6. Ray Overton

    Hi Kitty-
    "Air-Fried" is like dredged and battered, but then convection baked at a high temp to get a crispy coating and a tender, juicy interior (sans oil).  Very close to the original but w/o the splatter, or the fat.
    RO   :0)

  7. Kitty

    Sounds lovely. I don 't own a convection oven, but my aunt does, and she uses it to roast her Thanksgiving turkey. Our turkey gets rubbed with preserved lemon pulp before I put  it in the oven. 

  8. Kitty

    Hi Maria:

    I don't really know where you can buy ras el hanout in San Diego. Have you tried Sur la Table? Whole Foods? All the blends will be different. The combination of spices depends upon the type of dish you are making.

    If you have my book, Cooking at the Kasbah (Le Creuset outlet store in Carlsbad sells the book), I give one of the innumerable variations of the spice blend. In Morocco, each spice vendor makes his own. 

    One good source of spices, including ras el hanout,  is The Spice House in Evanston, IL. Check my blog roll. They sell by mail order, and they also produce a fantastic catalog. You might want to try a lovely spice store closer to home, Old Town Spice Merchants (spicemerchants.biz) in Temecula. Sue is the owner.. 

    Bon appétit!


    PS: Maybe I'll think of posting one of my blends on this site!

  9. cynthia tinnin

    My daughter has once again requested your mother's russian cake (from The Scent of Orange  Blossoms – which I cherish) for her birthday, I am thinking of you fondly as I prepare to make it.
    I just returned from spending a few months with my mother and  Don in Austin. Mom recently had extensive back surgery and is recovering  from that.
    Please let me know if you are ever up Fresno way. We so enjoyed meeting you at the party down in Azusa a few years ago.
    Cynthia (Mickey and Don Dixon's daughter)

  10. Kitty

    Cynthia, how great to hear from you. I am happy to hear that you have adopted My Mother's Russian Cake! it is a keeper!  Keep on checking my blog.

  11. June

    Dear Kitty,
    This September, my sisters and I were in San Diego visiting our very active 94 year old mother.  She suggested we go to your cooking demonstration at Macy's.  It was delightful and inspiring.  When I got back to Portland, Ore I started a quart of preserved lemons made with small organic lemons (not meyer), using your instructions.  I just made a lamb tajine with preserved lemons and everyone was so impressed.
    Now I am wondering how you keep the top lemons covered with brine in the jar after some are removed?  I did read somewhere that you can top them with olive oil–would you approve? Also what is the life span of the lemons in the refrigerator, and how would you know if they had gone bad?  Not that I think I won't use them up in time. 
    Thanks for the cooking inspiration,

  12. Kitty

    June, I am so happy to have you "hooked" on Moroccan preserved lemons! Good for you. Once the lemons are preserved, you can refrigerate them for up to 6 months (or more if they don't turn a light brown, which is a sign of old age.) If so, throw them out and start over. Never top the lemons with anything. It is unnecessary. Once preserved, they turn to a sort of salted marmalade consistency, and you need do nothing else. 
    Keep on leaving comments on this page! I love questions. Best,
    PS: Yes, the class at Macy's with Bernard was a blast!

  13. Alicia Johnson

    I have a lot of lemon kumquarts.  It is a cross between lemon and kumquat and I was wondering if you have ever preserved those for cooking.  I am going to try that because I have so many and they are smaller than my Meyer lemons.  I will report back.

  14. Kitty

    Alicia, preserved kumquats are delicious–fabulous with seafood. They are just time-consuming to make, since they are so small, and full of seeds. Yes, please tell me how they work out.

  15. Ann

    Hi Kitty, we are huge fans having recently discovered your 'Vegetarian Table' cookbook. Thanks to you we've been enjoying a culinary tour of the Maghreb over the holidays!
    Inspired by this, I want to have a go at preserving lemons, and the posts you've made on this page are really helpful. But can you tell me how much sterilizing of the jar is required? Or does the salt and acidity of the lemons make this less necessary? For example, can I wash a jar very thoroughly? Or do I need to boil it for 10 minutes before putting in the lemons?
    Many thanks, Ann

  16. Kitty

    Hi Ann, and thank you for your message. Preserved lemons are a staple of the Moroccan kitchen. Good for you for making your own. I know of NO good commercial source on the US market. The recipe I give in my books comes from my great grandmther: lemons and salt, that's IT. The main ingredient is patience. I generally run the jars through the dishwasher, or else, I boil them for 10 mns. No other sterilizing is required. The lemons will attain a jam like consistency in 4 to 6 weeks, if you follow my directions! You refrigerate the lemons AFTER they are preserved, not before (for that prevents them from turning soft.) BTW, I hope you realize you can use the rind and the pulp for different purposes. Let me know if you have other questions.

  17. Ann

    Hi Kitty, thank you and am very impressed by the swift response. I will certainly follow your instructions knowing how excellent your directions are in the Vegetarian Table cookbook. I think I just got cold feet from reading up about canning and all the stuff about boiling after the jars are filled (I am not an experienced canner as you may tell).
    Once I have the lemons available I am sure I will experiment as that is something I particularly enjoy e.g. one of our recent favourites is mixing our homemade harissa and labeneh, it makes a great relish for oven roast potatoes (cooked with a bit of garlic and salt). 
    On a different topic, if your publisher reads this website, can I put in a plea for reissuing your north African Vegetarian Table? It is a remarkable book and one of those rare vegetarian cookery books in which all the food is wonderfully tasty and interesting!

  18. Pingback: Preserved Lemons: The New French Staple? « Gherkins & Tomatoes / Cornichons & Tomates

  19. nancy

    At Macy’s with Chef Bernard you asked us to let you know how we use preserved lemons. Using a recipe from Rancho Gordo for Moroccan Spiced Tepary Bean Spread, I substituted a spoonful of preserved lemon for the lemon juice and lemon zest. Yum! I will try that substitution in other recipes in the future. Your preserved lemon recipe was easy to follow and the jar looks like sunshine in my refrigerator.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *