Category Archives: My Moroccan Preserved Lemons: a family recipe

I have opened every class I have taught on Moroccan cooking for the past 20-odd years with a demonstration on how to make your own. The condiment that typifies “MOROCCAN CUISINE” is today a “darling” of the gastronomic world. In all this time, I have found no good commercial source in the US for this luscious Moroccan flavoring. So make your own! It’s so simple: All you need are golf ball size lemons, salt, and a glass jar. Meyer lemons or Eurekas work just as well, provided they are organically grown. Now is the time to think about making preserved lemons to give away for the holiday season!

for additional help, visit my YouTube video:
Cooking at the Kasbah Preserved Lemons YouTube
Cookbook author Kitty Morse shows you how to make Moroccan preserved lemons.

Kitty’s Preserved Lemons
I learned to make these from my great-aunt Tita, in Casablanca.

a dozen golf ball size, unblemished lemons (Meyer or Eureka)
Kosher or table salt
a clean jar (quart or more), preferably with a plastic-lined lid.

Wash and dry the lemons. Cut off a dime-sized slice off at both poles. Set each lemon on end, and slice almost all the way through, leaving a small portion at the bottom uncut. Give the lemon a 90 degree turn, and turn it upside down. Cut the other side as you did the first. In this fashion, the lemon will be sliced open, but will remain attached at the base. Stuff the openings with as much salt as they will hold. Set each lemon carefully in the jar. Proceed in the same manner with the remaining lemons, filling the jar until no space is left. Seal and set aside. In a couple of hours, the lemons will have settled and juice will rise. Add another lemon or two, as directed. Continue filling the jar with lemons until the juice of the lemons rises to the top of the jar. This could take a couple of days. Turn the jar upside down and shake periodically to dissolve the salt. Make sure the lemons bathe in their own juice at all times. This will prevent mold from forming.

Set jar aside on the kitchen counter for 4 to 6 weeks, or until the rinds are tender enough to prick with a fork and the brine attains a syrupy consistency. Only then do you refrigerate them . They will keep for up to 6 months.

A jar of preserved lemons and a recipe on how to use them makes a great gift for a cook!

Make preserved lemons with me on YOUTUBE

If you have ever wondered how to make REAL Moroccan preserved lemons, or if you still have questions after attending one of my in-person demonstrations, this video will show you exactly how to prepare this uniquely Moroccan condiment: 

 Cooking at the KasbahPreserved Lemons YouTube

Cookbook author Kitty Morse shows you how to make Moroccan preserved lemons.

Encore preserved lemons

This is why I get such a kick out of teaching Moroccan cuisine:


“I still think about the class I attended at Vista Jazzercise!  I enjoyed the

evening so much! In fact, I decided to make "Preserved Lemons" as Christmas

gifts this year. I currently have 26 jars in the garage!  They will be ready

just in time for Christmas. I chose five recipes from your cookbook (all of

which call for preserved lemons), made recipe cards, and slid them into little

pocket folders – so when my family and friends receive this homemade gift, they

can experiment with the lemons and get introduced to Moroccan cuisine!”


G.A., Vista, CA.


Preserved Lemons:

 My favorite condiment is making waves in classy kitchens: From Top Chef to Food TV stars, and fans on Facebook, preserved lemons are in.  Drop by my new Facebook page, Kitty Morse Moroccan Cuisine, and start a discussion! I would love to hear how YOU use preserved lemons.

It’s raining limes! (Again)


 I feel so sorry for my citrus trees. The weather has been so mercurial that they can’t tell if it’s summer, Fall, or spring. We have had several heat waves at the oddest times, which has spurred fruit to ripen prematurely perhaps, and in doing so, splitting before falling to the ground. A Google search yielded nothing much in the way of combatting the situation. I just hope this isn’t permanent.

I would suggest, if you have YELLOW limes (such as Bearss or Key limes) or lemons, to preserve them for future use, or to give away. I have made preserved lemon addicts in my own circle of friends, many of whom requested a jar! That certainly made Christmas shopping easier!

Marketing my reprint of A Biblical feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table occupies most of my time (no citrus existed in Biblical Times, save for the Etrog citron, perhaps), instead of lemon juice, I use a touch of vinegar or a spoonful of pomegranate molasses to impart a fruity, citric flavor to some of the biblically-inspired dishes. 

A  new decade, and a new project:  I have tested many of the recipes for my preserved lemon book. Time to harvest today’s pickings.


A bientot,







Help! I am drowning under Bearss limes!

Our prolific, hard-working, semi-dwarf  Bearss lime is loaded with fruit. Many fell to the ground during our hot spell last week. And so, after making gallons of limeade, freezing lime cubes, preserving yellow limes a la marocaine (green ones turn grey from the salt) and zesting the fragrant rind into pots of fresh fig chutney and fresh fig jam (our fig tree is competing with the Bearss lime), I am at a loss as to what to do with them! 

Does anyone have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them!



Kitty’s Cooking tips

This is a family favorite:

Give your holiday bird a Moroccan twist!

Baste your turkey inside and out with preserved lemon pulp. The salty tang of preserved lemons adds a mouth-watering dimension to a celebratory roast, whether turkey, lamb, beef, or chicken. Placing a layer of diced vegetables (carrots, celery, onion) on the bottom of the pan will  add flavor to the pan juices and yield an extra  side dishHappy cooking!