5+ A Day

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

Serves: makes 1 large jar

Preparation: 20 minutes (not including preserving time)

Cooking: none



8 medium sized lemons, scrubbed
8 tablespoons rock salt – non-iodized
¼ cup rock salt
2 bay leaves
Lemon juice
Olive oil



Cut scrubbed lemons into quarters nearly to the base where the lemon attaches to the stalk

Cover the inside of the cut lemons with rock salt, use one tablespoon for each lemon

At the bottom of a sterilised jar add a large handful of rock salt then pack the lemons in tightly, add the bay leaves (or you could use cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds or chilies)

Fill the jar over half way with freshly squeezed lemon juice then use olive oil to completely cover the lemons, ensure there are no air bubbles then screw on the lid

Leave in a cool dark place for at least a month before using; occasionally turn the jar upside down. Once opened, store in the fridge


There are many uses for preserved lemons


  • To use, remove the flesh and white pith and just use the lemon skins
  • Preserved lemons add flavour to all kinds of different dishes and are popular in Moroccan and other North African cuisines
  • Limes and grapefruit can also be preserved with this recipe
  • Add a small amount to flavour couscous, lentil or quinoa salads
  • Use a little of the liquid in dressings
  • Preserved lemons add something really special to yoghurt or mayonnaise dressings
  • Make flavoured butter by adding finely chopped preserved lemon, garlic and chives to softened spread or butter, great with fish
  • Finish off your seafood risotto with finely chopped preserved lemon
  • Add a few fine strips of preserved lemon to vegetables before roasting
  • Stir-fry silver beet, broccoli or cauliflower in olive oil with garlic then add slivers of preserved lemon to add zing
  • Preserved 
lemons will also enliven all kinds of casseroles