How To Make Preserved Lemons

How to make preserved lemons ~ The Luminous Kitchen

Working around the Mediterranean on yachts I could always find preserved lemons, in fact they were a staple on my shopping list, but I am yet to find some in the shops here in Australia and I am missing me some salty, syrupy, preserved lemony goodness.

Traditionally, preserved lemons are used in North African dishes like Moroccan tagines but what a way to jazz up even the simplest of meals. Think couscous with chopped dried apricots, toasted pinenuts, coriander and preserved lemon ..hhhhhmmm delish.

How to make preserved lemons ~ The Luminous Kitchen

I missed the farmers markets over the weekend so I took a drive around the neighbourhood in search of a lemon tree because it really is best to use smaller, organic, unwaxed lemons. I found one and after knocking on the door with no one home I very inconspicuously (with the scissors that just happened to be in my gigantic handbag) nabbed a few gorgeous lemons. There were plenty left on the tree and imagine their delight when I take them a jar of their lemons and lovely and preserved.

So there are a few things to keep in mind when preserving lemons:

+Again, always use organic, unwaxed lemons

+Give them a good scrub to remove any dirt

+Sterilize the jar well

+ They only get better with age so if you can, wait at least 1 month before use, but waiting a year gives the best results.

How to make preserved lemons ~ The Luminous Kitchen


How To Make Preserved Lemons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 8 small lemons
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100g-200g coarse salt
  1. Sterilize 1 wide mouth jar and set aside to cool.
  2. Scrub the lemons under cold running water then pat dry.
  3. Cut a deep cross in each lemon about ¾ deep then using a teaspoon tightly pack 2 teaspoons of salt into the slits.
  4. Add the lemons 1 by one to the jar covering each one with an additional 2 teaspoons of salt and really packing them tightly into the jar.
  5. Add the juice of 2 lemons and fill with boiling water to the top.
  6. Add the peppercorns and bay leaves and seal tightly.
  7. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month. You may have to gently shake the jar for the first few days until all the salt has dissolved.
  8. Once opened, refrigerate.

How to make preserved lemons ~ The Luminous Kitchen


  1. Kim says

    I LOVE preserved lemons! Can’t wait to make these I had no idea it was easy to do. Thanks for the recipe!!


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