The other day my favourite local grocery store featured organic lemons twenty five cents each.  A bargain.  I filled my shopping bag  with a couple of dozen of these little darlings to make PRESERVED LEMONS.

PRESERVED LEMONS are one of the indispensable ingredients of Moroccan cooking.  I use it not just in tagines or with lamb and chicken I add the lemons to salads and vegetable dishes and use the pickling juice in salad dressings.  No matter what some food writers  say  their unique pickled taste and silken texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice.

The important thing in preserving lemons is to cover them with salted lemon juice.  You can use the lemon juice over and over again.   Preserved lemons are not complicated to make.  You partially slice the lemons.  Jam them into sterilized jars, add a few spices if desired and freshly squeezed lemon juice,   You let the lemons ripen in a warm place for thirty days, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice.     To use simply rinse the lemons as needed under running water, removing and discarding the pulp, if desired.

I have preserved lemons with olive oil but I prefer this recipe from  Paula Wolfert’s book on Morocco food.    Join me in MRS.BUTTERFINGERS kitchen  for this exotic recipe for PRESERVED LEMONS.


    • Dearest Jo Nell, I was so delighted to find these luscious lemons. Lately we have been paying almost a dollar a lemon, so these were a find. I am mad for Moroccan food. When I returned home after living in Amsterdam I brought back the largest tagine I could buy from the North African butcher shop. Thank you for the comment about the photo. I was rather about time! XXX Virginia

  1. Virginia, I’ve been planning to try making preserved lemons for so long; finally you’ve inspired me to actually do it! Thanks for the wonderful tips; wish me luck! Kate

  2. Dearest Resa, Years ago our son returned from Morocco with great memories. He loved the fresh mint tea and the preserved lemons served with their casserole type dishes. Travel to Morocco also inspired him to speak perfect French. He studied French at the university of Pau, and I mastered the art of preserving lemons. I am tossing slivers of lemon into our salads. Our garden is lush the goodness of the earth and we are harvesting lovely lovely vegetables by the basket. XXXOOO Virginia

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